On December 14th, David Reese made a world record attempt out of a charitable endeavour. His fell short of the record, but running for 24 hours on a treadmill is still quite a feat! We gave him a few weeks to recover before taking a bit of his time for a quick Q&A about his thoughts after the event!
skorarunning.com: First off, congrats on such an endeavor!
So, briefly explain to the readers what your goals were and why you were doing this.
DR: Initially my objective was to just last 24 hours on a treadmill. Then I thought about how I could keep this from being such a selfish endeavor and I thought of this man, Dr. Paul Farmer, and all of the very difficult things he does for the good of others. I decided to turn the run into a fundraiser for his foundation, Partners in Health.
skorarunning.com: Did other people in the gym have any idea what was taking place?
DR: I happen to work as a personal trainer at the gym where this took place so my co-workers made signs and actually blocked off an entire row of treadmills just in case something went wrong with the one I was on (which it did). So from the signs and the orange cones I think it became quite obvious. Everyone was very curious about what was transpiring.
skorarunning.com: Personally, I feel what most impresses me is that there had to have been a moment when you knew your goal of approaching or besting the world record would not come about, yet you kept on moving forward for the full 24 hours! Was there a point when this realization took place, and can you describe what was going through your head?
DR: I actually had a decent 50 miles in the books (average 8:49 pace) when I started feeling the effects of the constant pounding on the same bones/muscles/joints. This appeared in the form of a stress fracture on my left tibia. Luckily I have a friend in my contacts who is an orthopedic surgeon, so as I was running I called him to see what I was dealing with. We weighed out the consequences and he coached me through a taping method that took the pain down a notch. Unfortunately due to the level of pain I was still feeling, my pace suffered. I then realized my world record goal was no longer attainable. This is when I had to dig deep for true motivation. I thought about calling it right then and going home. With the help of my wife I realized that this had grown into something much bigger than my own ambition. People had been inspired by my attempt, they were counting on me. The people who will benefit from the money raised were cheering for me in my head. Little Haitian faces scrolled through my mind and that was enough. I was finishing this thing no matter the price.
skorarunning.com: You had a very specific plan for the 24 hours or running, in regards to nutrition etc. Did you stray from it at all? Looking back, what would you do differently?
DR: I did indeed have a very specific plan. I did well adhering to it for the first 10 hours or so but I was getting really sick of what I had planned for and was having a hard time getting enough water down. At about 9:00 pm my brother showed up to run through the night with me and ordered pizza, brought top o ramen and some electrolyte drink mix and I thought out my plan and ate what sounded good and monitored only quantity of calories not type of calories. The next time I attend this I will have a lot more variety of foods and drink mixes.
Believe it or not, it was easy to get bored.
skorarunning.com: What was the biggest factor that kept you going throughout the night? Was anyone else around to keep you company?
DR: The main factor was my brother John. We have done other endurance feats together and he knows me and what I need. He was there for me. He probably put in around 50 miles or so. I also had various co-workers there through the night cheering me on and warming up my top o ramen for me :).
skorarunning.com: What tools did you use to keep yourself busy?
DR: I had an iPad with Netflix. I watched about 10 episodes of the tv series 24 and the movie “Warrior”.
skorarunning.com: What did you do for the rest of the day after you finished, and how has the week been since?
DR: After the event I went home and hung out with my family. They were kind enough to give me a 10 min nap. It’s tough when you have an infant and toddler who love your attention. If it were not for my stress fracture I would have been out running on Monday. Luckily I am able to recover pretty quickly. I will just need to bike and swim (things I don’t do a lot of) to keep up my fitness as my leg heals. I still plan on racing hard at the Orcas Island 50k.
skorarunning.com: Is there one moment during the event that really sticks out in your mind?
DR: The last hour was very memorable. The gym opened back up to the general public so people started to filter in to see me finish. My family arrived and were extremely supportive and cheered me to a strong finish. I kept increasing the speed every few minutes so that by the end I was at a 12 mph pace. The adrenaline and atmosphere masked the pain and made for an incredible finish. Then the pain returned quickly.
skorarunning.com: Thanks David! It was an honor to learn that you were using SKORA for your event, and we were glad to donate the $250 to Partners in Health, on your behalf!