This weekend Aleksandr Sorokin of Lithuania shattered Yiannis Kouros’ 24-hour world record, covering 309.4 km at a race in Poland. Kouros claimed his record of 303.4 km, which he set in 1997, would stand forever.
In the past two years, Sorokin has rewritten what is possible in the ultrarunning world. To put the world record pace in perspective, he averaged 4:39 per km and ran a total of seven marathons. This is the third world record for the 39-year-old Lithuanian, who also owns the 100-mile world record (11:14:56), and the 12-hour world record (170.4 km), both of which he set in April 2021.
NEW 24 HOUR WORLD RECORD
309.400 km (192.25 miles)
Pace: 4:39/km (7:29/mile)
Sania Sorokin (Lithuania) 🇱🇹 broke Yiannis Kouros’ “untouchable” 24 Hour record this weekend at UltraPark Weekend in Poland. The Greek running legend ran 303.506 kilometers (188.590 miles) in 1997. pic.twitter.com/4QdacPFEuu
— USA Ultrarunning (@USAultrarunning) August 29, 2021
Sorokin was originally supposed to compete at the 24-hour World Championships scheduled to take place in Romania this October. Unfortunately, they had to move the competition to 2022 due to COVID-19. This decision led him to compete in the UltraPark 24-hour race in Poland.
Sorokin wasn’t shy about sharing his training plans with Lithuanian reporters. “During the peak weeks, I ran 250-280 kilometres,” he said. “In addition, I would do weight training and stretching exercises.” Sorokin’s high mileage prepared him well for the time he spends on his feet during ultras.
In the past few years, world-class ultramarathoners Kilian Jornet and Zach Bitter but have both given this record a shot, but neither came close to breaking it. Sorokin set all three of his world records in the carbon-plated Nike Alphafly, the same shoe Eliud Kipchoge wore for his INEOS 1:59 project.