Interview with David Reese – 24 Hours on a Treadmill


Recently we interviewed David Reese about his upcoming attempt at a 24 hour treadmill distance world record.

First off, how are you feeling during this week of the event? Antsy, nervous, excited?

This past week I have had mixed emotions about the event. I am actually really excited to attempt a different type of endurance feat and see how my body responds. Naturally I am a little nervous. Other students will randomly approach me and ask, “hey are you like that guy that is like going to run like for 24 hours or something!?” and the typical questions any ultra runner gets. I am also feeling really confident that it should go well because I have planned out my nutrition to the calorie and intend to have a lot of support and entertainment (I will set up some movies, have good music, etc.).

How long ago did you decide to do this 24 hour test, and have you modified your training at all?

Last year as I was brainstorming for 2013 a list of events I wanted to participate in, and for some reason this idea of running for 24 hours on a treadmill came to mind. I didn’t do much to develop the idea until my brother John (also an ultra runner) asked if I wanted to do it with him a couple months ago. I didn’t think about whether I would or could do it, but just set to work on the logistics: where, when, what to eat/drink etc…I realized that with my busy school and work schedule and the time I would need to complete and recover from the event, it needed to happen during a break, hence 12/14 (last day of finals). As for training, I had a really solid year that kind of tapered down to my last race (Mt. Spokane 50k). Following that race I had a couple weeks of light activity for recovery and have continued to train at a much easier pace (mileage and actual pace). Although my mileage hasn’t been nearly what it was this summer, I think this will work to my advantage because I know I have done enough to maintain my fitness levels and yet be fresh and ready for this Friday.

What is the longest you have been on your feet while running, and what is the longest you have ran in one go? Can you tell us a bit about these two instances?

The reason I feel so confident about this event is because this summer I spent 28 hours on my feet running the Wonderland Trail on Mt. Rainier and ran a total of 106 miles during the 2011 Cascade Crest 100 miler (the extra 6 miles was due to a missed turn in the middle of the night). The Wonderland Trail was probably my favorite running endeavor and definitely the hardest. Wikipedia says there is about 22,000 ft. of elevation gain but I would probably argue that. It was rough. Cascade Crest was longer but faster (finishing in 21 hrs.), also a relatively hard course with similar elevation gain as the Wonderland Trail. On Friday I am aiming to run for 24 hours but turn over 161+ miles. I will run faster, but there will be 0 ft. of elevation gain, no water bottles or gels to carry, and access to fuel and hydration whenever I want. I think it will be easier in those aspects.

Something that I’ve been very curious about, what is the longest time you’ve ever spent on a treadmill before?

The one thing I do not have going for me is time on a treadmill. The longest I have ever run on a treadmill is 90 minutes. I don’t think this will be an issue though. It will be a mind game more than anything.

Any thoughts for 2013 goals or races yet?

This is what I have planned tentatively for 2013:

February 2-Orcas Island 50k (already registered)
March 29- Badger Mountain 100 miler (tentative)
April 27 – Capitol Peak 50 miler (tentative)
May/June- West Coast trail FKT attempt (depending on weather and schedule)
July 12-14 – Hard Rock 100 (HOPEFULLY… dependent on lottery and $)
IF NOT HARDROCK then, July 27- White River 50
August – Wonderland Trail FKT attempt (depending on snow pack)
October- Mt Spokane 50k

Can you tell us a bit more about Partners in Health and how a person goes about setting up a campaign drive to raise money?

The best thing you can do to learn about PIH is to view their website. It is really easy to set up a fundraiser page. I can only say that it is definitely a worthy cause and highly rated as a charity in general because of the high percentage of proceeds that go directly to those in need (it’s around 90%). I have read and researched Dr. Paul Farmer (founder) and am extremely impressed with his dedication to providing the aid he does. I know that is out of my reach to be a Dr. Farmer but I know I can help in my own way and try to make a difference how I can.

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

I consider myself to be regular guy. I really believe that any individual who wants to can run ultras.

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