New Zealand’s Emma Timmis has broken the women’s 48-hour treadmill world record after running 340.36 kilometres at a fitness club in Christchurch over the weekend.
With her run, an effort averaging more than seven kilometres an hour, Timmis put a healthy distance between herself and Swedish runner Kristina Paltén, who has held the record since 2014, running 322.93 kilometres.
“Well, what a weekend that was!!!! It was everything I expected and more,” Timmis wrote in an Instagram post, in which she shared her motivation for tackling this treadmill world record. “One (reason) was to push my mental strength, and it definitely did!!! I went to some pretty dark places throughout the run, felt it with all my heart and managed to pull myself out of it each time.”
Making Timmis’s feat all the more remarkable was her comment that the 48-hour run was a “practice run” for a much larger challenge she plans on attempting later this year, although she’s keeping details of that “big goal” under wraps for now.
Timmis added she “felt 100% loved and cared for every minute of the run. To be able to complete something this huge you have to put full trust in people around you. Each and every person in the event showed me that the trust given was deserved.”
Once ratified, this will be the third Guinness World Record held by Timmis, who is originally from Derby, England, but now lives in the town of Reefton, New Zealand.
In January 2022, she broke the record for the fastest crossing of New Zealand on foot by a female, completing the trek from the northern town of Cape Reinga to the southern town of Bluff in 20 days, 17 hours, 15 minutes and 57 seconds.
“Averaging over 100K every day, this run had many, many challenges—it was no walk (run!) in the park,” Timmis said of that run on her website. “I battled extreme heat, heavy, fast traffic, several injuries, one of my support crew being involved in a car accident, and so much more. It takes incredible grit, resilience and determination to achieve something like this.”
In 2017, she set the record for the longest journey by elliptical cycle in a single country, travelling 7,753 km from Denham, Western Australia to Cape Byron in 74 days.
Three years earlier, Timmis completed an 89-day run from the Atlantic Ocean at Henties Bay, Namibia, to the Indian Ocean at Pemba in Mozambique, covering 3,974 km. Her run across southern Africa, which she called “the toughest thing I have done in my life,” was the inspiration for a children’s book, The Girl Who Ran Across Africa, which she published in 2020.