American ultrarunner Zach Bitter spent all day Saturday on the treadmill, starting at 6:30 a.m. PST and running until just after 6:30 p.m. He ran for 100 miles (160.9K) and set the new treadmill world record for the distance with a time of 12:09:15. He bettered Canadian Dave Proctor‘s previous record (set at last year’s Calgary Marathon expo) of 12:32:26 by over 20 minutes. Bitter averaged an incredible 4:32 per kilometre over 12 hours and 100 miles of running.
CONGRATULATIONS to @zachbitter for his new 100 Mile Treadmill World Record in 12:09:15 (unofficial). 7:18 avg pace!
The previous record was 12:32 by Canada's @daveoutrunsrare. Great job crewing, @nkbitter! @AltraRunning @NordicTrack @BUFF_USA @irun4ultra @iRunFar @runnersworld pic.twitter.com/nlIMvYROPA
— USA Ultrarunning (@USAultrarunning) May 17, 2020
Bitter’s average pace of 4:32 per kilometre would have given him a 3:11 marathon, which is a good time on its own, but he ran almost four marathons in a row on Saturday. The run was streamed live on YouTube, and different ultrarunners and endurance athletes Zoomed in to chat as Bitter chipped away at his 100-mile trek. Some of those big names included 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc winner Courtney Dauwalter, Aravaipa Running’s Jamil Coury, Quarantine Backyard Ultra champion Mike Wardian and Proctor himself, who knows exactly what it takes to break the 100-mile treadmill record.
The GOAT of 100 miles?
Bitter is already the world record-holder in the 100-mile run, which he set last August at an indoor track in Wisconsin in a time of 11:19:13. He is also the owner of the 100-mile trail record from the 2018 Tunnel Hill trail race in Illinois, where he ran 12:08:36. Now, he has officially added the treadmill record to his resume. With these three records to his name, it’s fair to say that Bitter is in the conversation for greatest 100-mile runner of all time, if not the outright winner of that title.
Bitter has been running ultramarathons for a decade now, and he’s got plenty of big race wins and results to his name. He was 11th at the 2018 Western States 100, he took 32nd place at the 2016 Comrades Marathon and sixth at the International Association of Ultrarunners 100K world championships in 2014. In 2019, he won three races, including the San Diego 100-miler in California.