Illinois P.E. teacher looks to set 100-mile world record treadmill run

The attempt comes after VanEtten finished with the second fastest American time for the same distance
Published: May. 1, 2021 at 10:41 PM CDT
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MORTON, Ill. (KWQC) - For many, running on the treadmill can feel like a chore, but for 25-year-old P.E teacher Taggart VanEtten, the treadmill poses a challenge.

“I am trying to set a new 100-mile world record on a treadmill,” VanEtten said.

VanEtten looked to break the 12-hour, 9-minute and 15-second record set last year by Zach Bitter at Gastropub in Morton. The training to be prepared for the record breaking attempt wasn’t easy.

“For 15 weeks I averaged 196 miles per week and my highest volume week was 258 miles and that was two weeks ago,” VanEtten said, “I normally wake up at 3:55 Monday through Friday and run almost two and a half hours every day before school then I go to work and then we have practice and then I come home and then I try and run another nine or ten miles.”

VanEtten’s mom, Val VanEtten, foresaw a passion like this for Taggart when he was younger.

“When he was oh four, five, six years old he was out running in the back yard barefoot and his dad and I were like ‘what are you doing?’ and he says ‘I’m just runnin’ to run!’ and he said that someday he would want to just run forever and we laughed and said ‘well, he’s going to be known someday as the barefoot runner’ because he was barefoot and running on his toes,” Val VanEtten said, “He’s a great kid but he’s a little on the nutty side.”

The date of the attempt is significant for the family as well.

“His dad passed away six years ago yesterday from pancreatic cancer and he had been talking and he had been doing cross country by then and he had been talking to his dad about some day doing a triathlon and so he signed up for his first triathlon that June,” Val said.

“Just doing this all for myself right now, I don’t have any official shoe deal or anything like that it’s just me being a PE teacher and I’m living the life I had envisioned for myself at 18 years old,” Taggart said.

Taggart would go on to beat the world record by over 35-minutes with a time of 11-hours, 32-minutes, and five seconds.

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