A group of 26 Calgary runners are trying to break six Guinness World Records in one day – all on a treadmill – to raise $50,000 for mitochondrial disease research.
The team were inspired by the bravery of local elite runner Blaine Penny, who co-founded support charity MitoCanada after his son Evan was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease.
“These Guinness World Record attempts by a collective 26 people are an excellent example of how athletes aspire to be part of something that is bigger than their individual abilities to accomplish a goal,” said Penny.
“This teamwork and collective energy will make a significant boost in helping raise the profile of mitochondrial disease in Canada and globally.”
The team will be making the record attempts at the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Health & Wellness Expo, at the Big Four building at Stampede Park.
Beginning at at 4 p.m. on May 27 and finishing up 24 hours later on May 28, they are hoping to set two team and four individual records for most kilometres run on a treadmill:
- Women’s team of 12: Most kilometres run on a treadmill in 24 hours (current record is 317 km, set in 2009 in Afghanistan by a British military group)
- Men’s team of 12: Most kilometres run on a treadmill in 24 hours (no record exists; a minimum of 350 km is required for a new record)
- Solo male (Dave Proctor): Most kilometres run on a treadmill in 24 hours (current record is 257.88 km, set by Suresh Arulanantham Joachim in Mississauga, Canada, in 2004)
- Solo male (Dave Proctor): Most kilometres run on a treadmill in 12 hours (new record)
- Solo female (Arielle Fitzgerald): Fastest 100 kilometres on a treadmill (new record)
- Solo female (Arielle Fitzgerald): Fastest 50 kilometres on a treadmill (new record)
- Mitochondrial disease describes a group of disorders which occur when a person’s mitochondrial cells fail to function properly.
The genetic disease can cause the failure of major organ systems like the heart, brain, muscles and lungs and leave sufferers quadriplegic. There is no cure.