The British ultra runner covered 68.54 miles on a treadmill at Kingston University in London

Ultra runner Susie Chan set a 12-hour treadmill world record after covering 68.54 miles at Kingston University in London on Saturday.

That distance betters the previous unofficial women’s 12-hour record of 66.79 miles set by Kristina Paltén in 2013, as well as the current official Guinness World Record mark of 60.26 miles set by Dee Boland in October last year.

After celebrating her treadmill triumph with friends and family, the 40-year-old mother-of-one, who only took up running five years ago when she completed a half-marathon with her brother, spoke of feeling “absolutely exhausted but elated”. She added: “I would never have got there if it wasn’t for the team at Kingston University – I couldn’t have let them down.”

Her record was shown live on YouTube, with videos of the footage available to view below in two parts, while messages of support tweeted to Chan using the hashtag #susieWRrun were projected on to a screen in front of the treadmill to give her an extra boost.

One of the first to congratulate the ultra runner on her achievement was marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe, who tweeted: “I’ve never watched someone run on a treadmill on my computer until now – Susie Chan you got me! Congrats on your new world record!”

The record attempt was supervised by senior lecturer in health, exercise and physiology, Dr Hannah Moir, and sport scientist Chris Howe, along with a team of 10 sport science and nutrition students acting as timekeepers and witnesses.

The athlete’s links with the university came about after she participated in a research study being conducted by Howe examining the physical and psychological effects of endurance running on those who take part in such events. “Using a multi-disciplinary approach, we’re now looking at the factors that make an ultra distance runner, how their bodies adapt over time and what pushes them to do it,” Howe said.

Chan is the latest in a long list of athletes to have made use of the high performance facilities and academic expertise available at Kingston University. Last year, the university provided heat acclimation support to almost 25 athletes training to compete in the Marathon des Sables, including explorer and adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. The annual footrace, which Chan herself has completed twice, sees those taking part run a total of six marathons over six days in the Sahara Desert, enduring temperatures of up to 50°C.