Ultrarunning champ Camille Herron, 40, set a new American 100-mile track open record in 13:02:16 (pending verification) on Sunday at Desert Solstice Track Invitational in Pheonix, Ariz., bettering her record from last year’s event, when she finished in 13:21:50.
“Desert Solstice was a magical experience once again,” Herron shared on social media post-race. “I aimed to go quicker than 100-mile pace, to achieve my 50 mile and 100K track American records. Then it was a test of ultra grit.”
Herron nailed her goals, improving her American records in the 50 mile (5:57:46) and 100K (7:35:50), along with multiple age group records–for a grand total of eleven records at the event. She tapped out of the 24-hour elite invitational race at the 100-mile mark.
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Herron led the race until the 50-mile mark, when she took an 11-minute break to deal with some GI distress. “I persevered through the pain, fatigue, and a few bouts of puking to get my 100-mile track American record–unofficially a track world record and masters WR too, 13:02:16, 7:49 per mile (4:51/km),” the runner shared.
“I feel the best in my life right now at age 40 (turn 41 on Christmas),” added Herron. It’s an exciting time in my career, and we’ll keep the ball rolling into 2023. I’m looking forward to a break to recharge and go to Ireland for Christmas.” 2022 is ending on a high note for the athlete, who has had a challenging year dealing with some controversy around the ratification of her world 100-mile road record set at Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival in February.
— USA Ultrarunning (@USAultrarunning) December 10, 2022
California-based repeat champ Marisa Lizak was the overall winner of the 24-hour race with 252.18 kilometres (156.7 miles), bettering her PB for the fixed time by four miles, and qualifying her for the U.S. 24-hour team. Lizak, who was second at Spartathlon earlier this year, now ranks third on the all-time chart behind Herron and Courtney Dauwalter.
New Canadian 12-hour record
Canada’s Amanda Nelson set a new Canadian 12-hour record of 135 kilometres, (previously 134.025 km) and was the 3rd place female finisher in the 100-mile event behind Herron and Lisak. She was the 5th woman finisher in the 24-hour event with 15 hours of running.
Nelson set out to tackle the 24-hour Canadian record, but readjusted her goals after experiencing some severe GI issues.”I hit my B goal in the 100-mile event, with my second fastest time of 14:53:47. On my way to 100 miles I managed to better my existing 12-hour national record,” Nelson says.
Heading into the race, Nelson says she knew track running wasn’t her thing. “I do not enjoy such a tight, flat loop course but I needed to see how I could do in an elite field of runners,” she says, describing it as “a whole other feeling.” Nelson says faster paces felt easier for longer and shared, “it was fun for a while, chasing other like-minded athletes. I did what I could on that day.”
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Nelson opted to stop after the 100-mile mark, explaining: “Not every race is going to go as planned and we have to learn to trust ourselves and listen to our bodies. I feel that stopping after 100 miles was the right decision for me this past weekend and still feel incredibly accomplished with what I had achieved.”
Whitby, Ont.’s Viktoria Brown was also competing but shared that she wasn’t feeling her best from the start of the race, mentally and physically, and ended up dropping out after 11 hours. After an extremely successful season that included breaking three national records and competing at IRONMAN Kona, Brown says she had possibly simply reached her limit for the year.
“My 24-hour split at 6 Days in the Dome of 213 kilometres puts me in second place for the Canadian 24-hour team, behind Amanda. I feel that I made the right decision to save myself for a better day.”
For full results of Desert Solstice or to learn more about the event head here.