Ultrarunner Dave Proctor of Okotoks, Alta. made ultrarunning history at the Calgary Marathon expo today, breaking not one but treadmill-running records: the 12-hour record and the 100-mile (161K) record. He had to beat was 13:42:33 for 100 miles (set last year) and Vito Intini’s 152.5K for 12 hours, set in December 2018. Proctor’s new records, set today, are 12:32:26 for 100 miles, and 153.8K in 12 hours.
Proctor said he drew encouragement from the crowd that gathered to watch as 4:00 p.m. approached, marking 12 hours on the treadmill. Many were wearing the orange Outrun Rare t-shirts, showing their support for the foundation Proctor co-founded to help combat rare diseases. (His son Sam has RECA–relapsing encephalopathy with cerebellar ataxia–which is characterized by motor and gait abnormalities. His condition first manifested itself when Sam was a toddler, and took six years to diagnose.)
“I feel on top of the world,” Proctor said after stepping off the treadmill. “Having handily broken both the 100-mile and 12-hour world records, and done it while looking out and seeing a sea of orange, my heart is full. With that many orange shirts cheering me on, how could I not crank up the speed? Physical limitations don’t factor in the boundless limits of the heart, and I think that was obvious here today.”
Proctor acknowledged the difficulty of the challenge he set for himself today, and hinted at future challenges:
“If I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, I certainly was reminded again today–the treadmill is mean, ugly mind-bending machine… This was a test… to see if my back would hold up to the rigours of racing again, and I think I passed with flying colours. Time to set the bar higher.”
Proctor’s attempt to set a cross-Canada speed record last year ended in Manitoba with a painful back injury. Proctor holds the Canadian 24-hour road-running record of 257.093K, set on a looped road course in Turin, Italy in April 2015.
Proctor is sponsored by Altra.