Kyle Greig’s assault on two ultra distance world records for running on a treadmill ultimately proved unsuccessful, but it certainly wasn’t due to any lack of grit or determination on the part of the Metro Aberdeen club member.
The Alford-based athlete had his sights firmly fixed on the world best of 12hr 9min 15secs for 100 miles, set by American Zach Bitter earlier in the year, and the 24-hour record of 164.36 miles clocked by Norwegian Bjørn Tore Kronen Taranger in 2018.
Both proved a step too far for the Great Britain trail running international despite an heroic effort watched by thousands of fascinated ultra enthusiasts who tuned in to a live stream of the action from Aberdeen Sports Village.
Greig got off to an encouraging start, impressively knocking out some 7min 15secs miles en route to completing his first marathon of the day in 3hr 11min.
He remained on target for the 100-mile record for six hours, covering a little more than 49 miles. This also placed him well ahead of schedule for the 24 hour target.
However, a hip problem was beginning to impact on Greig’s fluency, forcing him to abandon the 100-mile record attempt and refocus on what was always his primary goal, the 24 hour mark.
Greig battled on, encouraged and refuelled from the sidelines by a vocal support team and a series of motivational video clips from running friends.
He maintained a consistent pace through eight hours (62 miles), 10 hours (74 miles) and 12 hours (87 miles). The record was still within reach at 16 hours but it was becoming increasingly apparent from his pained expression, and the increasingly frequent need to address the hip problem,that Greig was in trouble.
He battled on doggedly for another two hours before reluctantly stepping off.
His efforts nevertheless raised more than £8000 for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) and the Gathimba Edwards Foundation.
Myles Edwards, co-founder of GEF and a Scotland international athlete, said:“For those 18 hours Kyle was a warrior and an inspiration.
“Inspiration is a word that gets used a lot but witnessing what he did was like nothing I’ve ever seen. He was in agony yet he still kept going and gave absolutely everything.
“He gambled by going for the 100-mile record on the way to the 164 mile 24-hour world record and on this occasion it didn’t happen, but I have no doubt he’s capable of both of those records if his hip wasn’t an issue.”