No Drew, the distance can't be more than 50m. It is the time it takes to raise the object that is most affected by the force you apply.
Consider the following trip
He has to put more than the weight (49,033.25 N) to overcome gravity. If he puts .000000001 N more than the weight, then the object will accelerate (very slowly). You could put that very small amount of extra force for a second (during which time the weight has moved a very small distance) but now the object has a very small velocity.
You continue putting the exact force equal to the weight (no more and no less) to maintain this very small velocity until the last second.
During the last second of the trip, you put .000000001 N less then the weight to decelerate the object until the object is at rest at the end of the trip.
In this case the distance you are applying the force over will be very short. The time it takes to raise the object will be very, very long.