American trail runner Camille Herron had an incredible weekend at the Desert Solstice Track Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz., winning the 100-mile challenge outright while breaking both the 24-hour world record and the USATF 100-mile world record on the track. And she is smiling in every photograph.
Herron, who is from Oklahoma City, ran 100 miles (160K) in 13:25 (her pace being 5:02 per kilometre), and 262.192 kilometres for a new 24-hour world record (at an average pace of 5:30 per kilometre). The previous 24-hour record, held by Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland, was 260K. The previous 100-mile record (13:45:49) was set by Gina Slaby in 2016.
Herron also holds the world record in the 50 miles (5:38), 12 hours (92.66 miles), and 100 miles (12:42).
Here’s a video of the event, produced by I Run 4 Ultra:
Courtney Dauwalter, who previously held the American 24-hour record of 159.32 miles (254.91K), was only able to run 60 miles (100K) before dropping out after a very busy and long racing schedule in 2018. (Six weeks ago she ran 446.67K at Big’s Backyard Ultra before conceding to Johan Steene.)
The Desert Solstice is a pure endurance challenge, with none of the majestic vistas of Western States or Hardrock. Only 30 of the top American endurance runners are invited, and in order to qualify, runners must have run at least 124 miles (198.4K) in 24 hours, or 100 miles in under 17:30. The race is a qualifier for the 24-hour national team. According to the iRun4Ultra site, 11 world records and 60 US national records had been set here before this weekend.
Known as a prolific and highly decorated road marathoner and ultramarathoner until she took up trail running in 2016, Herron won the Comrades Marathon in 2017, and later last year broke the women’s 100 mile record in her first 100-miler, Tunnel Hill 100 in Illinois, with a time of 12:42:40. Ast last year’s Desert Solstice, Herron broke the American 50-mile record (with a time of 5:59:10), the American 100K record (with a time of 7:36:39), and the 12-hour world record, previously held by Ann Trason. Herron likes to fuel with beer in the later stages of endurance races.
The Desert Solstice rewards men’s and women’s performances in both the 100-mile and 24-hour categories, but notes 12-hour records also. Last year Herron set the world record in the women’s 12-hour (149.13K). She had set the world record in the trail 100 miles at Tunnel Hill, with a time of 12:42:39.
Herron appeared to be sporting the Nike Vaporfly 4% shoe for her record-breaking performance.
Here is a complete list of records set at the Desert Solstice:
Camille Herron: 24-hour world record (162.9 miles/260.6K), US 100-mile record on the track (13:25)
Andrew Snope: world 24-hour barefoot track record (144 miles/230.4K)
Oswaldo Lopez: Mexican 24-hour record (139.6 miles/223.4K)
Connie Gardner: US 100K record, 50-59 age group (9:57:09)
Thomas Reiss: US 50K track record, 50-54 age group (3:39:26)
Suzi Swinehart: US 50-mile track record, 45-49 age group (7:21:28)