With each passing race, and course record, American Jim Walmsley is becoming a trail running icon.
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The ultrarunner’s latest win came Saturday at the Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand as the Hoka One One athlete set a course record over the 102K distance. The Flagstaff, Ariz.-based ultrarunner averaged 4:20 per kilometre breaking the previous course record by 21 minutes in 7:23:32.
Fellow American Camille Heron won the women’s 102K in 8:56:01, breaking the course record by six minutes. Canadian notable Alissa St Laurent, a past winner of the Canadian Death Race, did not finish.
Walmsley, who was on track to win the Western States 100 in 2016 before a navigational error cost him the race, posts all of his training on Strava. The desktop and mobile application is a social media platform where people can share the details of their runs and workouts including pace, heart rate, distance, elevation and more. Fans follow athletes the same way they would on Twitter or Instagram.
According to GPS data, Walmsley had some remarkable splits during the Tarawera Ultramarathon. Between kilometre 70-71, for example, Walmsley split 3:14. Throughout the course of the race, he burned approximately 8,945 calories and conquered 2,907m of elevation. Based on Walmsley’s average heart rate relative to his max heart rate, he had an “epic suffer score.”
Select Strava screenshots
Although interesting, Strava data can sometimes be inaccurate, especially in a trail setting with overhang interfering with GPS. For example, Walmsley’s overview of the race states that he improved his “best estimated 400m effort” to 44 seconds. The world record, in comparison, is 43.03. The activity can be found here.
He averages upwards of 230K per week in training. Some of his workouts are astonishing including one from a few weeks ago. On Jan. 29, he ran 48.4K at 3:38 per kilometre pace. At that pace, he would have gone through the marathon (42.2K) in approximately 2:33:18, which would place well in most non-elite races.
Well done to everyone in the @taraweraultramarathon yesterday!, amazing effort by Jim Walmsley @walmsley172 setting a new CR, what an awe inspiring athlete to watch! . . . . #hokaoneone #hoka #cliffbar #nathansports #trailruns #trailrunners #trailrunners #ultra #ultrarun #ultratrail #ultrarunning #ultramarathon #newzealand #rotorua #rotoruanz #trail #athlete #ultratrailworldtour #sportphotography #sportphotographer
Walmsley is expected to race the Western State 100 again this summer. Not surprisingly, globetrotter Mike Wardian was back racing and finished eighth overall in 8:49:36. He was less than two weeks removed from setting a world record for the World Marathon Challenge, which is seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.