World Record Attempt for Fastest Women’s Treadmill Half Marathon to be made at the 2015 Running USA Conference and Expo


World Record Attempt for Fastest Women’s Treadmill Half Marathon to be made at the 2015 Running USA Conference and Expo


Elite athlete Melissa Gacek will make the attempt to break the current world record run featuring the Digital Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay®, along with Outside Interactive’s Virtual Runner App on a Cybex® 770 Treadmill.


Elite athlete, Melissa Gacek, will be making the attempt in the Outside Interactive Booth on Monday, February 9th at 4:00 p.m. during the expo.

Gacek, who lives in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, is no stranger to the treadmill. “Given the harsh Minnesota winters, many times treadmills are the only option, especially at the level I wish to compete. Also, having balance being a working mom and competitive runner is very important. I don’t want to feel guilty about my training. The treadmill is a great way to train for my speed work, long runs and bonus miles. I do this while the children are asleep or playing so it so it doesn’t take time away from them. This is one key way I find the balance I need as a mom,” stated Gacek. “This type of challenge has been something I’ve wanted to take on for some time. The idea of being part of an official attempt is even more exciting.”

The current record of 1:20:43 was set in Boston last April.

“1:20:43 is a very solid time,” stated Gacek, 38. “Given my road personal best is a 1:18:58, this is going to be close, but I’m doing it for my charity which is sure to give me added motivation.” Melissa is taking on this WR attempt with the goal to help raise the remaining funds needed for Healing Haiti to build a church and school in the slums of Cite Soleil (Spring 2015). “Like a world record, this is a pretty ambitious plan…building on top of 12 feet of garbage in the poorest area of the poorest slum in the poorest country in the world.”

In conjunction with the attempt, Gacek will be running with Outside Interactive’s software app called Virtual Runner. Virtual Runner provides an interactive race day experience for treadmill runners with interactive videos shot from a runner’s point of view. Race course videos can be viewed on a runner’s Windows®, iPad® or Android® device and any treadmill, allowing them to train on a virtual race course before race day, or even participate remotely no matter where they are in the world at their pace. For this world record attempt, Gacek will be running to the Digital Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay shot last November on race day.

“When Outside Interactive approached us with the idea of creating a digital version of our race course, we were quite intrigued,” stated Doug Thurston, Race Director for the Half Marathon on Monterey Bay. “Having the digital version of our race used in a World Record attempt is a first for us, but it’s exciting to think that people from around the globe will be able to interactively experience the electricity and energy of our race day experience.”

“The goal of Virtual Runner is to make treadmill running more engaging and less boring,” stated Gary McNamee, Outside Interactive’s President and Founder. “Having a chance to preview a course ahead of race day at your pace or even compete remotely allows for a connection to the race. Military personnel or those who are otherwise “geographically challenged” can now be part of the race day experience.”

“We’ve seen a lot of ways Virtual Runner can be used to liven up a treadmill run, but I have to admit trying to set a world record with it brings things to a whole new level,” McNamee stated.

“By far the most important component in attempting a treadmill world record run is of course, the treadmill. “With quality, durability and reliability in mind, Cybex International’s 770 treadmill is exactly what we had in mind when setting up Melissa’s attempt,” said McNamee.

Lisa Juris, V.P. Marketing at Cybex says, “We’re proud to part of any initiative that supports fitness and charity – and what Melissa represents with this challenge.”

As fate would have it, when available, Melissa Gacek prefers training on Cybex equipment. “I’ve been training on Cybex treadmills for years,” stated Gacek. “It gives me a great level of comfort to know I’ll be making this attempt with the type of treadmill I’m used to.”


The Big Sur International Marathon is a non-profit organization which coordinates the namesake annual spring marathon, now in its 30th year and widely considered to be one of the world’s top destination races. Other signature programs of the Big Sur International Marathon include the scenic Half Marathon on Monterey Bay; the community-oriented 5K/2K Run in the Name of Love tribute run; and the award-winning JUST RUN!® youth fitness program. The mission of the Big Sur International Marathon is to raise funds for local non-profit organizations and to engage in health and wellness opportunities in the local community. For more information, visit


Cybex International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment. The Cybex product line, which includes a full range of strength and cardio training machines, is designed using exercise science to reflect the natural movement of the human body. Led by the Cybex Research Institute, Cybex fitness equipment is engineered to produce optimal results for users from the first-time exerciser to the professional athlete. Cybex designs and builds its products in the USA for a wide range of facilities, from commercial health clubs to home gyms, in more than 85 countries worldwide. For more information on Cybex and its products, visit the Company’s website at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

About: Outside Interactive is a Hopkinton, MA developer of Virtual Runner, revolutionary patent-pending forward motion technology solutions featuring famous race courses, popular running routes and scenic destinations, all shot in HD from a runner’s point of view. Founded in 2011 by Gary McNamee, a lifelong Boston resident, avid runner and serial entrepreneur, Gary developed Virtual Runner after becoming bored on the treadmill and frustrated with not being able to train properly in New England’s unpredictable and often harsh weather. For more information, visit