With all 50 states inching below the freezing mark this week, runners are hitting the treadmill in droves. Now, ten indoor athletes can hop on the same treadmill all at once, thanks to this extra-large mill designed by Chilean company, Oxford Fitness.
The gargantuan treadmill is built on a scale four times larger than a "run of the mill" machine. It is 5 meters high, 3 meters wide and 6 meters long. Speed increases in increments of just over half a mile per hour all the way up to roughly 10 miles per hour, or a 6-minute per mile pace.
Scott Douglas, the senior content editor for Runner’s World Magazine, said it was not entirely clear how users reach the control buttons. The company could not immediately be reached for comment, but a video shows someone on a ladder hitting the controls.
Over the weekend, Oxford plans to host a pair of two-hour races on the machine in Santiago, Chile, according to Douglas.
For the first of two races, the treadmill's speed will be set at a steady 6 miles per hour to test stamina. During the second race things get a little more interesting: Douglas said that organizers will gradually edge up the pace so that runners who can't keep up get ejected off the back. The last runner remaining upright and on board will be declared the winner.
Douglas, a 60 mile a week runner who owns a treadmill he hardly ever uses, said he didn't think the XL treadmill was the worst idea.
"When you run outdoors with a friend, you naturally lock into a pace so I don't see why it would be a big deal to do the same on a treadmill," he said.
Oxford Fitness and its creative partner, 10:10, plan a national tour with the machine and hope to lure Erwin Valdebenito, the Chilean holder of a Guinness World Record for running 24 hours non-stop on a regular treadmill, to super-size his efforts on their mill.