PRESS RELEASE - by JOC(SW) Douglas Stutz - USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs
Weber showed remarkable poise and determination on Sunday, Dec. 12, as
he established a new world record on the treadmill by running 50
kilometers (31.2 miles) in 3:46:12, seven minutes and one second off
the old record of 3:53:13. (Photo by PHAN Jordan Beasley)
Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - Usually a treadmill run
offers neither historical tradition like the Boston Marathon, or
rolling grandeur of the Big Sur Marathon, nor even the civic silliness
of the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon.
LTJG Geoff Weber, assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln Operations Department
as Intelligence Division officer, managed to combine elements of all
three of the aforementioned world class runs, en route to setting a new
world record for running 50 kilometers (31.2 miles) on a treadmill,
with a overall time of three hours, 46 minutes and 12 seconds. Weber’s
time eclipsed the old Guinness Book of World Record time of 3:53:13 by
seven minutes and one second.
All this on a Sunday morning in the middle of the Pacific during a
surge deployment, before his noon watch, and having to deal with the
occasional cross-country element brought on by a tropical depression
bringing 80 knots winds and a sea state of up to 25 feet.
"I had anticipated at trying to better the old mark by at least three
minutes," explained Weber. "But got a little excited by mile 20 and
upped my pace. But by mile 27 I had a hamstring cramp and had to ramp
back a bit. If I let them, the miles can really start to eat me. It is
a very humbling experience to run distance. No matter how great you
feel at the ten mile or good at the 20-mile mark, there is always some
type of physical or mental wall to hit. If I’m not prepared for it, it
can make me quit and not achieve my goal."
Weber was quick to point out those friends and co-workers who came up
to run with him, share encouraging thoughts, and vocally urge him on,
played a vital role in reaching his stated goal. "Everyone who came
up," the Tucson, AZ native said, "and joked, cheered and clapped,
helped me reach the finish line. It just all came together. Having
everyone here helped me finish."
For the finish line on a treadmill on a Navy ship at sea is really one
that truly only exists in the runner’s head. "But breaking the record
was easier to accomplish that I anticipated," Weber noted. "By the
first ten miles, I really felt confident. Just as I also feel confident
that someone else will shortly come along and break it right after me."
Lincoln fitness coordinator Cecilia Fresques pointed out that there are
side benefits to what Weber just accomplished. "It is certainly
different, and of course, he’s got to also be a little crazy to do it,"
Fresques quipped. "No one has ever done anything like this before. But
the real benefit is that he has definitely motivated a lot of us to
push ourselves towards a goal that we might think is out of reach. It’s
With a marquee tout board keeping a running tally of time and distance,
studio video cameras surrounding the event for historical accuracy to
send to the Guinness Book of World Records and provide running
posterity coverage, and a steady gathering of well-wishers, there were
those Sunday morning runners who were unaware of the event. They
couldn’t help but cast a continuous stream of perplexed and bemused
looks at the world record scene unfolding before them, mile after
"But we had no doubt he’d do it," said Information Specialist Third
Class (SW/AW) Jacob Steele, from Calipatria, Ca., of his division
officer. "He sometimes averages over 10 miles a day out here and is
very disciplined in getting his run time in."
Weber stated that he was running up to over 100 miles a week during the
initial stages of deployment.
"I toned down my 100 miles to 70, then just did 50 a few week ago and
last week only did two eight-mile runs," he explained. "I’ll use this
run to gradually get myself back up to around the weekly 140-150 miles
Weber attests that the overall goal of doing a marathon, let alone an
ultra-marathon, is one event that runners traditionally don’t just go
out and compete to complete. "The best method to accomplish a long run
like this is to start slow, even walk if necessary, but always keep
moving and never give up. During the (50 miles) course around the Grand
Canyon once, I was just happy to be able to put one foot in front of
the other to finish what I started."
Weber’s has already accumulated more run experience in his 37 years
than most do in several lifetimes. He completed his first major run,
the Boston Marathon, with an unofficial time of 3:56:00 when he was age
17. Conversely, he passed the 26.2-mile marathon mark doing this
ultra-run at 3:12:00. His personal best has been a time of 2:50:50
(unofficial) in the 1990 Boston Marathon. He has completed the 2000 and
2001 Grand Canyon 50-mile Trail Ultramarathon with times of 9:56:10 and
10:15:56. He placed second fastest in the over-30 year old, 2000
Arizona State Games 400 meters with a time of 59:26. He was awarded the
2003 Athlete of the Year for Naval Station Everett. His list of
accomplishment extends to numerous 5k runs, as well as competitive
cycling events, such as with the NCAA Cycling Team at University of
Colorado, and being tabbed to join the 1985 Collegiate Cycling Camp at
U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO.
When asked what’s up next, LTJG Weber explained that breaking the 50K
treadmill world record is a start. "I got more goals coming up to get
ready for," he said. "I’d like to break the 50 mile and 100K treadmill
world records. I’d like to win the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon
across Death Valley, and run the 2,174 mile Appalachian Trail in 40
days to set a new world record."
"And," he continued "I also hope my wife, Nancy, runs a marathon with
With one world record completed, Weber’s jest for adventure has his
feet ready for more feats. One ultra mile at a time.
World Record List