Top 10 Inspirational Running World Records

If you’ve hit the wall when it comes to running motivation, take a look at these 10 running records. The heroic stories below are sure to inspire you to get out there and run.

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Fastest women’s marathon

The marathon run by Paula Radcliffe in 2003 was nothing short of ground-breaking. The British athlete set one of the most amazing world records in running history when she completed the London Marathon in a time of 2:15:25. Her time was so fast, it even qualified her for the men’s World Championships. Since her remarkable achievement, no other female runner has come within two minutes of her time and Radcliffe remains the fastest women’s marathon runner ever.

607 consecutive marathons

Training for one marathon takes an enormous amount of dedication and commitment, which makes Ricardo Abad Martinez’s running feat all the more impressive. He ran an astounding 607 marathons in as many days between October 2010 and May 2012. On top of all of this, the Spanish ultra runner continued to work eight hour shifts at a factory throughout his endeavour and during all of this, still managed to achieve a PB of 2:46.

Most distance travelled on a treadmill in a week

If you’re a runner who finds training on a treadmill boring and repetitive, spare a thought for Sharon Gayter, who set the world record in 2012 for the furthest distance covered on a treadmill in one week. She ran 18 hours every day, racking up a total of 517.3 miles (which equates to over 19 marathons) all on a treadmill at Teeside University in the UK, under the watchful eye of the University’s Sports Science department.

Most vertical feet run in a day

In 2011, a team of 11 runners spent a full day running up and down Croagh Patrick, a 2,472 foot (753.5 meters) mountain in Ireland. Each runner made 12 ascents and descents up the mountain, adding up to a total of 59,337 feet (18086 meters) of vertical running. Keep this record in mind next time you approach a hill during one of your long runs, it might just get you through it.

Fastest juggling triathlon

Juggling is a difficult skill to master while standing with two feet on the ground, so imagine how hard it would be to complete a triathlon while juggling. In 2012, Joe Salter did exactly that, juggling three balls for the entire length of the triathlon, all without dropping one. Amazingly, he even finished the triathlon in 1:57. While this technically isn't solely a world record for running, Salter’s accomplishment was too good for us not to include on this list.

Four-minute mile

While this is one world record in running that has since been surpassed, Roger Bannister’s four minute mile will forever be remembered as a landmark event. Before the British runner completed the mile, medical and running experts agreed that the human body was not capable of running a mile in four minutes. This was until Roger Bannister proved them all wrong in 1954 and ran the mile in 3:59.4, cementing his name forever in running history.

Fastest mile in swim fins

Following on from Roger Bannister’s historic four minute mile, in 2010, Ashrita Furman put his own spin on running the same distance, setting the record for the fastest mile run in swim fins. He made his way around the track in a speedy 7 minutes, 56 seconds, which makes this mile run record all the more impressive when you consider that his feet were more than twice their usual length.

Fastest 100m

The fastest man in the world rightly deserves a place on this list of running world records. At the 2009 World Championships, Bolt took the athletics world by storm when he ran the 100m in an astonishingly fast 9.58 seconds. During that race, the Jamaican sprinter reached peak speed of 27.44 mph. Bolt secured his place in the running history books at the 2016 Olympics, completing the ‘triple triple’ - three gold medals in three separate Olympic games.

Tallest costume worn in a marathon

With the tens of thousands of people taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon each year, it can sometimes be difficult to pick out individual runners, but David Lawrenson’s costume in 2012 made him a little easier to spot among the crowds. Lawrenson set the record for the tallest costume worn in a marathon when he dressed up as a replica Blackpool Tower. The tower costume weighed 17.5kg and was 24 foot (7.976m) high - so high in fact, that he had to crawl across the finish line.

Fastest run from Land’s End to John O’Groats

There are 850 miles between Land’s End and John O’Groats, a distance that equates to over 32 marathons. In 2001, Andi Rivett covered the distance in an impressive nine days and two hours - taking the world record for the fastest run between the two ends of the UK in the process. To finish in this time, Rivett had to run an average of 18 hours each day, covering the distance of nearly four marathons.  

Picture Credit: Kaliva / Shutterstock.com

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