Boston, Massachusetts — Los Angeles native and Disney movie production lawyer, Loren Zitomersky (aka “The Backwards Guy”), attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon ever run — backwards. Despite high winds and heavy rain, Zitomersky ran all of the 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon backwards and although, he was very close to beating the record, he crossed the finished line in 5 hours, 43 minutes, and 59 seconds. The current Guinness World Record is 3 hours, 43 minutes, 39 seconds and was achieved by Xu Zhenjun at the Beijing Marathon on October 17, 2004. While Zitomersky’s objective was to beat the current record, his main goal was to create awareness about epilepsy and raise funds to End Epilepsy. The money raised supports the Epilepsy Foundation’s efforts to help better the lives of the more than 65 million people living with epilepsy worldwide.
“When I qualified for Boston with a 3 hour, 14 second marathon, I immediately told myself I’m going to go big with my epilepsy fundraising and awareness campaign,” said Zitomersky. “I stumbled upon the record for the fastest backward marathon and decided to embark on this backwards journey, and let me tell you, it was well worth it. I’m so happy to have broken the Guinness World Record and even more excited about the fact that I’ve raised more than $65,000 so far for the Epilepsy Foundation to help End Epilepsy.”
Zitomersky started raising money alongside his dad since he was 12 years old to create awareness of epilepsy through long-distance bicycle rides, triathlons and marathons. Together, they have raised more than $300,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation by doing long-distance bike rides, marathons and an Ironman. Zitomersky’s brother, Brian, had epilepsy and tragically passed away after suffering non-stop seizures while asleep. Zitomersky and his dad started fundraising because they didn’t want other parents, families and kids affected by epilepsy to feel alone.
But his fundraising doesn’t end at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Zitomersky recently kicked off the “26 Steps Backwards to End Epilepsy Challenge” encouraging people, including celebrities Rick Harrison (“Pawn Stars) and Greg Grunberg (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), to take 26 steps backwards and donate $26 forwards to End Epilepsy. All the money raised by Zitomersky will go directly to the Epilepsy Foundation to support local programs for families affected by epilepsy —such as camp, family day and workshops — and research and awareness to support the nationwide fight to End Epilepsy.
To accept the 26 Steps Challenge and donate, please visit 26Steps.org. For more information about epilepsy and seizures, please visit EndEpilepsy.org.
When a person has two unprovoked seizures or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more, they are considered to have epilepsy. (An unprovoked seizure is one that occurs for no known reason.) Epilepsy affects more than 3.4 million people in the U.S. and 65 million worldwide. This year, another 150,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, at least 3 out of 10 people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with over 50 local organizations throughout the U.S., has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is: to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. The Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures have the opportunity to live their lives to their fullest potential. For additional information, please visit epilepsy.com.
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