Fergus Crawley Ran a Sub 5 Minute Mile, Back Squatted 501lb, and Ran a Marathon In The Same Day

The Scotland powerlifter turned endurance athlete put his physical fitness on display.

Fergus Crawley is an endurance athlete with a powerlifting background that had a uniquely eventful day this past Sunday, July 26th. The Scotland native became only the second person we know of to run a sub 5 minute mile and back squat 500lb in the same day. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he also ran a marathon

Here were the stats Crawley posted on his unbelievable day of strength and endurance:

  • 9:30am — 227.3kg/501lb back squat 
  • 11:30am — 4:58 mile
  • 4pm — 43.9km/27.28 miles in 5:05:59 — For reference: 42.2km/26.2 miles = 1 marathon 

Check out the full video below, which includes a time lapse of the marathon, from Crawley’s YouTube channel:

Despite this being a unique display of physical fitness, Crawley actually set the goal higher when embarking on this challenge. He initially intended to run 50km/31 miles in under 5 hours. That means he would have to average a 9:36 mile for all 31 miles.

Although he did not quite achieve specifically what he set out to do, it was still feat of physical fitness unlike anything we’ve seen before, except for perhaps Adam Klink.

Klink, a CrossFit Games team competitor on CrossFit Krypton, just two days earlier became the first person to ever perform a 500lb back squat and run a sub 5 minute mile (4:56) in the same day. The cherry on top of the day for Klink, however, was not a marathon, but rather 50 kipping pull-ups unbroken. Crawley commended Klink for his achievement before joining him in accomplishing this particular feat of physical fitness. Check out our full interview with Klink below:

[Related: This study tried to see if CrossFit endurance stacks up to traditional training]

Crawley’s Journey

The Squat

The Scottish endurance athlete was worried about the back squat despite his experience as a powerlifter and having lifted over that weight many times before.

According to Open Powerlifting, in 2015, at the age of 19, Crawley won the Global Powerlifting Committee (GPC) World Championships at -82.5kg in the T3 division. His competition best squat was a 260kg/573.2lb lift on his third attempt at the 2017 GPC British Finals — he placed third in that event and all three of his squat attempts were successful and more than 227.3kg/501lb.

Crawley built his way up to the 227.3kg/501lb back squat with the following lifts:

    • 140kg/308lb
    • 180kg/396lb
    • 205kg/452lb

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Fergus Crawley (@ferguscrawley) on

The Mile

After a sufficient warm up, here were the splits of Crawley’s 4:58 mile:

      • 1st 400m — 1:04
      • 2nd 400m — 1:15
      • 3rd 400m — 1:20
      • 4th 400m — 1:19

If you didn’t watch the full mile on the video, you should at least go to 9:04 and watch the moment Crawley completes the run. As he is about to finish, he moves to stop his watch and trips over the finish line.

Lesson learned: get over the line before you try and stop your watch.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Fergus Crawley (@ferguscrawley) on

The Marathon

Crawley suited up with a harness that had two packs of electrolytes and carbs as well as a liter and a half of water on his back. He took some caffeine before starting the run.

At only a tenth of the way in, he was feeling the effects of the squat and mile from earlier.

My legs feel like lead.

At 10km, he was at 53:06, meaning he averaged an 8:56 mile for the first 6 miles. His first break came after completing 15km around the 1:22:00 mark. He took his second break at 1:55:54 after completing 20km.

The heat, fatigue, and cramps in his quads started to become more relevant obstacles for Crawley as his breaks became more frequent. He took a third once he completed 24km. It wasn’t until the 2:40:30 mark at about 25km that he knew the 50km in under 5 hours was “off the cards”.

He brute forced his way through his quads locking up as much as he could before refueling on water and salt. At 30km he admitted that the cramps were unlikely due to a lack of salt and more likely due to sheer fatigue. At 32km:

This might just be my body saying we’ve had enough of you today.

He ultimately called it a day after finishing a 42.2km/26.2miles/1 marathon. He ended up traveling a total distance of 43.9km/27.28 miles in 5:05:59.

I can tell you for free, that will be the slowest marathon I’ll ever run.

Looking Forward

When all was said and done, Crawley may not have been successful in his secondary goal of a sub 5 hour 50km run, but he did set a new bar for strength and cardio.

The next goal Crawley has set is a “big, big, big endurance challenge” for his Movember fundraiser where he hopes to raise £100,000. For those unaware, Movember is an annual charity event run by the Movember Foundation during the month of November that aims to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer.

We are excited to hear the particulars as to what Crawley’s endurance challenge is going to be.

Feature image from Fergus Crawley’s Instagram page: @ferguscrawley

Phil Blechman

Phil Blechman

Phil is a native New Yorker passionate about storytelling, bodybuilding, and game design. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University.

Before becoming a Staff Writer at BarBend, Phil worked on the creative team at World Wrestling Entertainment, as a narrator for Audible.com with over a dozen titles, and as a producer, director, and playwright Off-Broadway in New York City where he worked for The Araca Group and co-founded IJB Theatrical Productions. He can be heard as a co-host of both the Here’s What’s Up podcast and Eternal Durdles podcast.

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