Last Friday and Saturday, doctor and ultramarathon runner Sebastien Roulier of Sherbrooke, Que., broke the 24-hour individual wheelchair push Guinness World Record. Roulier ran a total of 185.5 kilometres, breaking the previous record by more than 20 km.
The previous mark was 161.61 km, set by Graham Inchley of the U.K. in 2014. Roulier decided to try and beat his distance at the beginner of September, and so set up the 24-hour Shared Race Project. When he reached out to his community for support, he was met with a very positive response from both volunteers and passengers. In the end, Roulier had a total of 15 passengers (or “co-runners”), who took turns riding in the chair throughout the entire 24-hours. Each of these passengers faces health problems that reduce their mobility, and this challenge highlighted the importance of social inclusion for people with reduced mobility.
Roulier completed the run by doing laps around the Lac des Nations. Each loop was 3.5 km, which meant he completed 53 loops during the 24-hour period. He says the race was a very positive experience, and he received many thanks from the co-runners, who said the event allowed them to get out of their homes.
“This was an enriching challenge,” Roulier adds, “and I drew my energy thanks to those sitting in the chair in front of me.”
His record hasn’t been ratified by Guinness yet, and Roulier must now send all the required information to the organization in order for his achievement to be officially recognized. This includes photo and video evidence, two witness statements and a cover letter.