BLOOMINGTON — An extreme endurance runner did not break the Guinness world record for most miles completed on a treadmill in 12 hours, but he hopes his effort will inspire others to chase their dreams.
Dan Seaway, 37, of Bloomington ran or walked 55.05 miles on a treadmill at Gold’s Gym from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The Guinness record is 63.01 miles, which was set in April. When Seaway began training, the record was 55.54 miles, and he didn’t know about the new record until a few days ago.
“I came up short,” an exhausted Seaway said a few minutes after his 12 hours on a treadmill ended. “I’m definitely upset about not reaching the record, but I went the full 12 hours and I feel good about that.
“I’m just so tired. I want to go lie down.”
Seaway’s sister, Rachel Dunai of Fredericksburg, Md., said “He came extremely close to his original goal. He’s gonna get in that book, just not today.
“Even though he didn’t break the record, he raised $350 for St. Jude (Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.), and I hope he inspired other people to stay in shape,” Dunai said.
Seaway, a personal trainer at Gold’s, said he may try for the record again in two years.
Seaway was on pace to break the record in the early afternoon. But by 5:40 p.m., he was taking longer breaks — which are allowed — to stretch and cool down and began walking more and running less.
As his pace slowed, some of the 30 family members and friends who were there to encourage Seaway and to be witnesses to his attempt said he was experiencing knee and shoulder pain and stomach upset.
“Everything started shutting down,” Seaway recalled afterward. “I was having joint pain, which is hard to deal with, and couldn’t slow down my breathing.”
Seaway knew he needed to eat during those last couple of hours, but he was afraid he wouldn’t keep anything down.
But during the last few minutes of his effort, as the number of supporters on the cardio deck of Gold’s Gym grew and as they cheered and applauded more loudly, Seaway resumed running.
“That a boy, Dan,” said Gold’s personal training director, Mike Trotter. Supporters counted down the final seconds and then Seaway got off the treadmill and hugged his mother, Deborah Dunai of Cumberland, Md.
“It’s unbelievable that he ran for over 55 miles,” his mother said. “We’re all so proud of him. Our entire family has found this very inspirational.”