For most the thought of running a mile is daunting and setting a record even more challenging. Bethany College Track Coach Aaron Yoder decided to take those challenges and make them just a little bit harder by doing both, only backwards.
Yoder was recently notified by Guinness World Book of Records that he is the official title holder for the Fastest Run Backwards, One Mile. His record time, 5 minutes 54.25 seconds, was achieved on November 23, 2015 in Lindsborg. The run was recorded by photographer Jim Turner of Lindsborg and posted on YouTube.
“Jim was truly the mastermind behind this endeavor,” Yoder said. “He did all the legwork with the technology and administration of the evidence.”
Yoder isn’t sure if his new record, the first of its kind in the Guinness World Book, will make backwards running the new fitness craze. He will just be happy if it gets more people up moving and being fit.
“That’s always my goal,” he said. “To inspire people to get fit. If trying to break my record will help, that would be great.”
Yoder began running backwards as a kid, he said. “It was a way for me to get a better workout at home on the treadmill we had. Then I started running backwards and my mom would ride along with me outside on her bike.”
While submitting the necessary documentation for the Guinness World Record Book, Yoder discovered there is a community of backward runners and a world championship that he plans to compete in this summer in Essen, Germany. He hopes maybe someday it could even become an Olympic event.
“You never know,” he said. “Ultimate Frisbee is a recognized Olympic sport.”