Kyle Greig

Ultrarunner Greig to face toughest challenge yet

Scottish international to take to the treadmill for 24 hours for charity

In just under 10 days’ time, Kyle Greig will be taking on what he calls the toughest challenge of his running career. 

The Aberdeen-based ultrarunner will be attempting to break the world record for the most miles run on a treadmill in 24 hours to raise £5000 for two charities close to his heart: CHAS (Children's Hospices Across Scotland) and the Gathimba Edwards Foundation.

As a GB and Scotland athlete Greig is no stranger to putting in the miles. But he’s also in no doubt about the scale of the challenge he’ll be facing on Friday, 28 August. The official record, set by Bjørn Tore Kronen Taranger in Bergen, Norway, on 11–12 October 2018, stands at 164.36 miles (264.52 km).

To put that in terms the rest of us can relate to, that’s running an average pace of 8.46 min/miles all day – and all night – for 24 hours straight.

Even as a veteran of countless long-distance challenges, including a third-place finish at the British 100km championships, Greig admitted to runABC Scotland online: “I’ve never really done anything like this before.”

For someone used to running the ups and downs of the world’s hills and trails, staying in one place for so long will pose many challenges. After a 50k training run on what many of us call the ‘dreadmill’, Greig admitted he felt as if the ground was still moving when he got off. 

In the rare breaks he’ll be taking during his record attempt – two to five minutes every two to three hours – Greig plans on changing his shoes and tending to his muscles with massage, stretches and squats. 
But running such a distance inside, in his home gym, will have a few up-sides, too. “Running so long on a treadmill has some advantages over what I’m used to – I won’t have to carry bags, deal with wind resistance, weather or humidity. I can take a break or slow down slightly to eat and fuel on the move whenever I want – but it will still be tough.”

There’s no doubt Greig’s years of ultrarunning have built up his physical resilience, but runABC Scotland online wondered about the mental side of his 24-hour challenge.

He told us: “I need a challenge. With no racing and training in lockdown, I’ve needed some structure. I'm treating this challenge like a race. Planning and preparing this challenge has helped my mental wellbeing.”

And on the day – and through into the night – how will he cope? “I’m never bored when I’m running. Even if I’m just looking at a wall, I can switch off my brain. But if it gets tough, I can think about the kids in Scotland and Kenya I’m doing this for.” 

For his efforts to be recognised as a world record, Greig will have to make sure he doesn’t shut his mind down completely: “I can’t touch the sides of the treadmill. If I do, I’m done.” 

And is he ready for the challenge, which he intends to stream live online?  “There will be ups and downs, but I can get through. It’s the joy of ultras,” he laughed.

“When it comes to training, I try to think positive thoughts. Every second mile I think of someone I care about or someone who has inspired me.” 

And is he feeling positive about rewriting the running record books in a fortnight's time? 

“I don’t know if I can break the record, but it’s mine to reach for," he told us. "Raising money for charity is what will get me through – as well as finding out what my body can do. Setting a new world record is a secondary challenge.”

Image courtesy: Kyle Greig


Previous & Next News