There seems to be some sort of affinity with Scots runners and a 24 hour treadmill challenge. Last year, Mark Cooper inscribed his name in history by covering almost 5 marathons in his day long run and in February, Clydebank cop Mark Barrow completed a similar feat by managing 103 miles. Not to forget, either, William Sichel's impressive performance in France earlier this year, when the endurance runner was one of six athletes to overcome the 2 day treadmill challenge in Evreux.
This week saw a new name added to the list as Gary Connell amassed 153km (95 miles) during a 24 hour stint on a treadmill at LivingWell Health Club in Strathclyde. Gary, 41, completed his day long challenge on Sunday with the aid and support of family, friends, gym members and a few cup finals to keep his mind occupied.
A veteran of 112 half and 25 marathons, Gary said the 24 hour challenge was by far the toughest of his running career, which stretches back to 1987. Speaking to scottishrunningguide.com, Gary tells us how he managed to pass through the proverbial wall during the early hours of Sunday morning: "Throughout the night I had full support in what were really tough, dark hours that seemed to last forever. There were a few football finals on TV which definitely passed the time and distracted the mind."
With a full range of nutritional supplements, including protein bars, sports drinks, malt loaf and jelly babies, Gary completed the challenge on Sunday afternoon: "Around 12:15pm I knew I was on the homeward stretch and had a full house of onlookers. My dad, Alex, was there by my side the whole time and he was amazing on the motivational side of things and kept me positive."
Throughout his challenge, Gary has been fundraising for the Hilton Foundation and Yorkhill Children's Hospital as a means of assisting with the upgrade of facilities. You can sponsor him by visiting his justgiving page.