Athlete hopes new record on 135-mile run inspires others to get ‘out of their comfort zone’

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 8:26 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2020 at 8:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Runner Jeremy Killeen put his body to the ultimate test last month. He tackled one of the most grueling feats of physical endurance, running the equivalent of five marathons back-to-back.

“I saw this circumnavigation route and wanted to try to attempt it,” he said.

The Oahu Circumnavigation run is a 135-mile trek around the entire island. It’s not for the faint of heart.

“I started at 5 a.m. on November 21st and ran all through the night until the next day,” he said.

The run is normally done as a relay with participants taking turns over 130 miles of road and five miles of trails. Killeen ran it solo.

“Originally, I posed it as a joke with a friend because we saw the relay and we talked about doing it. I said, ‘Oh, I might do that myself,’” he said.

Killeen’s in the Navy and is a trombone player in the Pacific Fleet Band. He just turned 25 and is a relative newbie to distance running.

“I started with a couple of 5Ks and 10Ks,” he said. “My first long-distance run was the Hickam Half-Marathon.”

To make his circumnavigation race result official, he documented his movements using the GPS on his Garmin watch. Friends cheered him on, gave him water, tended to this blisters, and helped him keep up a consistent pace.

The tough part came at the 100-mile mark.

“I really wanted to quit. But I knew that I’m already this far, so close to the end,” he said.

He took brief pauses to stretch and walk, but he basically ran for 32 hours and 55 minutes. He crossed the finish line near Kapiolani Park ― four hours faster than the old record time.

“My legs definitely hurt. My feet definitely hurt,” he said.

News of his accomplishment is getting out through internet posts and social media. He’s received congratulatory messages from people who call him an inspiration.

“That’s all I wanted to do is just inspire people to do something out of their comfort zone,” said.

With the Oahu Circumnavigation run now checked off his list, he plans to tackle other long-distance challenges.

“I’ll recover a little bit more and get back out there,” he said.

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