Ultrarunner Benson knocks record off its feet

Benson-Treadmill-RGBernadette Benson from Kelmscott (WA) sets a new world record for the longest distance run on a treadmill in 12 hours. Image – Supplied.

By Kate Dzienis

Forty-seven-year-old Bernadette Benson from Kelmscott (WA) is known amongst the ultra community for her long distance efforts and always setting her sights on a challenge that sits outside the comforts of her personal repose.

Earlier this year, she completed the Yukon Arctic Ultra Marathon in Canada where she completed more than 480kms in temperatures that fell to -27 degrees Celcius and pulled up to 30kgs of gear in a sled-like pulk.

She did it solo.

Benson’s latest challenge on Saturday (May 28) saw her run on a treadmill for 12-hours non stop at Zoom Fitness in Osborne Park (WA), where she was accompanied by an array of supporters and officials from Guinness World Records.

The treadmill record was ratified on May 30 – she ran 128.62kms, which works out to be a 5:35 min/k pace.

Benson, 47, said although she was physically prepared for the feat, it was a gruelling process to get ready mentally and emotionally.

“I broke my toe in mid-March and that required me to train on a stationary bike for weeks,” she said.

“Then I went to Nepal in April to get some mileage in the legs but came home with Giardia and Kathmandu Lung, so that resulted in more training on the stationary bike.”

During the treadmill run on May 28 Benson kept herself extremely focused.

“Normally when I race I’m really quiet, I need a lot of space and don’t like to run near anyone,” she revealed.

“I get hyper sensitive to sounds, smells, and for this event, I had to be in a public venue, in a gym, so I was nervous how all this would affect me.

“It turned out to be awesome though, I had a spare treadmill close by that people who donated to my cause could run or walk on for 15-minute intervals.”

In the lead up to the world record attempted Benson had raised more than $2700 for the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and was hoping to reach her target of $3000.

To donate go online and visit here.

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