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Japanese ultramarathoner breaks women’s 24-hour world record

Miho Nakata recorded 270.363 kilometres at an average pace of 5:20/km for 24 hours

Miho Nakata Photo by: IAU

It was a record-setting 24 hours at the 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships in Chinese Taipei on Dec. 2, as Japan’s Miho Nakata broke the women’s world record by a mere 246 metres, recording 270.363 km (167.995 miles) in the period.

Nakata averaged a pace of five minutes and 20 seconds per kilometre (8:55/mile) during the race and only beat the record by a little over half of a lap of the track, which comes down to just over one minute. Nakata’s new mark surpasses the distance set by Camille Herron of 270.116 km (167.842 miles) at the last edition of the championship in 2019.

Nakata was out front for most of the race, holding a gap of six kilometres on a two-kilometre (1.24 miles) loop through 12 hours. As time progressed, Nakata’s gap kept growing, and she beat the rest of the women’s field by 16 kilometres to win gold for Japan.

To put her new impressive record in perspective, her distance was only beaten by four men and would have placed her fifth overall. Nakata smashed her previous best over the distance by 14 kilometres. This is her best finish at an ultrarunning world championship, previously finishing sixth at the 2022 IAU 100K World Championships.

Ukraine’s Olena Shevchenko took the silver with 254.463 km, while former ultrarunning world champion Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland took bronze (249.541 km).

Aleksandr Sorokin defends world title

Aleksandr Sorokin
Photo: Marek Janiak/UltraPark Weekend

Lithuanian ultrarunning star Aleksandr Sorokin successfully defended his IAU 24-Hour World Championship title, winning the men’s race in 301.790 km. He was on a world record pace through 18 hours but began to fall off the WR pace with five hours to go.

Heading into the race, Sorokin was the favourite to win, but he went out more conservatively than usual in the opening six hours. Sorokin took the lead after six hours and held on to win by more than nine kilometres, even though he walked the last hour of the race.

Fotios Zisimopoulos of Greece took second with 292.254 km, and Ukraine’s Andrii Tkachuk rounded out the podium with 284.540 km.

Sorokin holds the world record in the 24-hour discipline, setting the mark of 319.614 km at the 2022 IAU European Championships in Verona, Italy.

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