American ultrarunner Camille Herron has (unofficially) broken her own world record at the 24-Hour World Championships, which took place yesterday and today in Albi, France. Herron ran 270.116 kilometres, eight kilometres farther than her previous world record of 262.192K, set at Desert Solstice in December 2018. Aleksandr Sorokin won the men’s event with 278.973 kilometres (provisionally), a national record for Lithuania. The American men and women both took top honours in team results.
In the women’s event, Nele Alder-Baerens of Germany finished second, with 254.288 kilometres, and Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland was third, with 247.724K. (Bereznowska held the world record at 260K before Herron broke it at Desert Solstice last year. She also finished second overall at this year’s Badwater 135, setting a new women’s course record of 24:13:24.)
Herron had said she wanted to break her own world record ever since dropping out of Western States in June due to a nagging hamstring injury. “Happy to be done,” Herron said while lying down after the race. “It was very hard-fought–extremely. Everybody on the team fought for that one. We fought with valour. Many of our teammates had body issues and it all came down to the three of us that were able to dig really deep to score for us… For me it was puke and rally. I puked twice, and I had to dig really deep that last two and a half hours, because I wanted to go as high as I could, so I did it.”
— IRun4Ultra (@irun4ultra) October 27, 2019
Erik Clavery of France led the men’s field through the first eight hours of the event, with Sorokin in second place. After nine hours, Sorokin took over the lead and held it to the finish. Clavery eventually faded to fourth place when Tamas Bodis of Hungary surged into second and Olivier Leblond of the US into third. Bodis finished with 276.222K and Leblond with 275.485K.
In team results, compiled from the top three finishers from each federation, the American men and women both finished first–the men with 799.754 kilometres and the women with 746.132K. Leblond, Jacob Jackson (265.650K) and Harvey Lewis (258.620K) were the top three American men. Herron, Pam Smith (246.290K) and Courtney Dauwalter (229.727K) were the top three US women.
Team Hungary finished second in the men’s team results, with a combined 782.241K, and Team France, led by Clavery, finished third, with 779.076K. Second-place in women’s team results went to Team Poland (led by Bereznowska), with Team Germany finishing third (696.846K).
Team Canada’s women finished 14th, with 585.917K from our top three women, Rhonda Loo, Charlotte Vasarhelyi and Lisa Van Wolde. The Canadian men, led by Sebastien Roulier, Blaine Penny and Oleg Tabelev, finished 23rd with 596.389K.
Sinead Kane of Ireland, who is visually impaired and runs with a sighted guide, finished 67th, with 185.848K. Just three days before the event, Kane won a legal challenge to be allowed to race with her guide in the championships as part of Team Ireland, something the IAU had previously not been prepared to allow, citing IAAF rules.
This was the biggest 24-hour World Championships ever held, with 45 member federations represented. One hundred and forty-seven women and two hundred and five men attempted to run for 24 hours around the 1,500m loop in Albi. The 24-hour World Championships are held every two years.
For full results, click here.