Scripps News LifeGood News


Duo breaks world record for fastest marathon pushing a wheelchair

A California pair broke the Guinness World Record, completing the 26.2-mile distance in 2:35:26.
Posted at 12:12 PM, Jun 20, 2023

A San Diego duo has broken the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon pushing a wheelchair.

Sean McQuaid and Riley Pathman are part of Team Hoyt, a nonprofit organization that enables people with special needs to take part in endurance races with the help of specialized racing wheelchairs.

“The idea was to run our hearts out, and that’s exactly what we did,” said McQuaid.

The pair competed in the Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday in Duluth, Minnesota, when they broke the world record together.

They beat the previous record by about 14 minutes, running 26.2 miles with McQuaid pushing Pathman’s wheelchair in just 2 hours, 35 minutes and 26 seconds.

“You could feel that emotion, the buzz. Riley looking at everybody and getting all the cheers. He is the heart of the run,” said McQuaid.

Riley’s dad, Jim Pathman, ran behind them for this race, but the two have raced together as a father and son team since Riley was 4. Jim says Riley, who has cerebral palsy, has now completed 30 marathons total.

“What we found over the years is we’d be running at a marathon, and we’d see people in a wheelchair on the side. We’d stop and talk to them, and they’d say, 'Hey, we didn’t know that was possible…let’s go do it,'” said Jim Pathman.

Adam Gorlitsky wearing robotic walking device.

Man attempts marathon in robotic walking device

Adam Gorlitsky was on pace to shatter the world record for the fastest marathon in a robotic walking device. He still managed to finish the race.


Jim Pathman says inspiring others to go further and to do more than they thought possible is what Team Hoyt is all about.

“For us, that's what it's about. Opening other people's eyes … because when it opened our eyes … it changed our lives,” he said.

The Hoyt Foundation was started by Dick Hoyt and his son Rick Hoyt, who also raced in a wheelchair. Rick Hoyt passed away last month. Team Hoyt San Diego says this race was in his honor. 

This story was originally published by Madison Weil for Scripps News San Diego