World backwards running champ Garret Doherty beats own record

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

On Sunday, Garret Doherty, 33, defeated his own world record at the UK backwards running championships in Manchester.

Doherty completed the backwards mile-long race in just 6 minutes and 57 seconds, beating the second-place contestant by almost a minute and besting his previous world-record time by more than 30 seconds.

"I'm thrilled that I managed to keep my title, and I'm chuffed to bits that I've beaten my personal best time," he told The Sun.

"I'm hoping to get it down even further by next year though."

Last month, Doherty completed the Wexford half marathon in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Watch Doherty demonstrate his sport below:

Doherty, from Ireland, started backwards running — also known as retro running — three years ago when he turned around during a jog to avoid the sun's glare.

"It's truly liberating, and there are enormous health benefits. It's much better for your body than running forwards, as it's lower impact," he said.

Doherty has since dedicated his life to sharing the benefits of backwards running, touring schools to convert young runners.

"You burn three times as many calories running backwards as running forwards, as it uses a lot more muscles. You land on the correct part of your feet, which helps your ligaments and ankle bones," he said.

"In forwards running, your feet land heel to toe — but when you run backwards it's the other way round, which is how you're supposed to run, the same way as you would barefoot," he added.