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Brendan Kelly breaks world backwards mile record

The world of backwards, or retro, running is a popular space for GWR attempts

On October 19, former American Ninja Warrior competitor Brendan Kelly of Lexington, Kentucky ran a 5:53 mile backwards to break the Guinness World Record in the event, formerly held by Aaron Yoder of Lindsborg, Kansas, who ran 5:54.25 in 2015. (Results are unofficial.)

Backwards running, or “retro” running as it is more popularly known, is so popular, it even has its own world championships, to take place in London in July 2020.

Last month, the women’s retro-running half-marathon world record went down. Shantelle Gaston-Hird of Manchester, UK ran 2:16:03 at the Manchester Half-Marathon, squashing Justine Galloway of San Diego’s previous record of 2:19:45.

Kelly has attempted other athletic world records in the past–in 2018 he attempted to break the record for the most pull ups in 24 hours (male), currently held by John Orth of Golden, Colorado at 7,600 since 2016. (Orth has since broken his own record, taking it to 7,660.)

RELATED: Backwards running world record goes down at Manchester Half-Marathon


RELATED: Backwards running: when running forwards is not an option

Yoder, the former world record-holder in the retro mile, is the head track and cross country coach at Bethany College in Lindsborg. He recently finished the TCS New York City Marathon in 2:39:40.

RELATED: North Carolina man completes backwards marathon–at almost 60

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