After completing a staggering 129.2 miles in the space of 24 hours, Mark Cooper made his way into the history books. The distance, just shy of 5 marathons, places Mark's effort in the top ten attempts at the day-long run.
The event, which took place at the Corinthian Club, Glasgow, last week was Mark's first attempt at the world record of 160 miles, currently held by Arulanantham Suresh Joachim of Sri Lanka. Aided by episodes of 24 and the film Running the Sahara for inspiration, Mark's distance places him ahead of Dean Karnazes' 2007 record.
The effort is made all the more impressive considering Mark initially thought he was running in km per hour, not mph. While this meant he had covered the first 20 miles in just two hours, and 60 miles in 7 hours, the value of pacing yourself, especially for a 24 hour race, is essential. Mark later commented, "It's stupid to go out too fast in any race but a 24hr one - suicide!"
Surrounded by friends, family, and national journalists, Mark completed an impressive 5 miles in the final half hour. When asked if he was disappointed not to break the world record, he replied: "A world record is just a label, I don't need that to tell me I've done something pretty special here today."
Considering his attraction for extreme challenges - Mark ran 50 marathons in 56 days in 2010, and recently completed a 150 mile journey across the British Isles - you don't get the impression Mark needs a world record for inspiration.
You can read a more in-depth analysis of Mark's 24-hour treadmill challenge on his blog.