Japan’s Miho Nakata Breaks 24-Hour World Record By Narrow 246 Meters At World Championships

Alexandr Sorokin repeats his title from 2019

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This weekend, the world’s best ultra-runners gathered in Taiwan for the IAU World 24-Hour Championships for the first time since 2019.

The World 24-Hour Championships typically take place every two years, alternating with continental events. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World 24-Hour Championships have not been held since 2019, when they took place in Albi, France. During this gap, there was just one European Championship, which took place last October in Verona, Italy.

The World 24-Hour Championships have consistently brought the strongest athletes and produced historic performances, shaping the annual and all-time rankings.

Camille Herron NYC Marathon 2011
Photo Credit: Charles Smith

Both reigning champions from 2019, American Camille Herron and Alexandr Sorokin of Lithuania, will be looking to renew their titles.

At the 2019 championships, Herron broke the existing 24-hour record, running 270.116km, which stood throughout the championship’s hiatus.

In 2019, Sorokin completed 278.972km, good enough for fourth best of all time. Since then, he has only bettered his distance.

In 2022, Sorokin improved the world record, running 309.399km in Poland, before running 319.614km later that year at the European Championships.

Although Herron and Sorokin are the race favorites, they won’t be without strong competitors.

The British team will challenge Herron with their national 100-mile record holder, Sam Amend, alongside Sophie Powers, who won the Crawley 24-hour event in April, covering 235.739km.

Japan's Miho Nakata Breaks 24-Hour World Record By Narrow 246 Meters At World Championships 1

Sorokin will be joined by the silver and bronze medalists from the European Championships, Andrzej Piotrowski of Poland and Marco Visinti of Italy. 

Piotrowski became only the third man ever to run over 300km in a 24-hour race after covering 301.858km in Verona.

One underdog in the men’s race could be Greek ultra-runner Fotis Zisimopoulos. 

Zisimopoulos won his third Spartathlon this year, a renowned 245km race, where he became the first runner ever to go under 20 hours. Zisimopoulos has only run one 24-hour race before, where he recorded a fast 100-mile split. However, poor pacing saw him fade in the latter stages of the race.

The IAU World 24-Hour Championship took place on a 2km loop and began Friday, December 1, at 10am local time.

Japan's Miho Nakata Breaks 24-Hour World Record By Narrow 246 Meters At World Championships 2
Photo Credit: International Association of Ultrarunners

In the women’s race, Herron’s long-standing record would come falling down as Japan’s Miho Nakata covered a distance of 270.363km. Nakata just edged out Herron’s previous world record by a mere 246 meters

Nakata led the race from the get-go. 

At the five-hour mark, race favorite Herron was sitting in third, already two minutes behind the lead. Herron eventually withdrew after 142km, just under 12 hours into the event.

In the men’s race, Sorokin repeated his win from 2019, breaking the 300km barrier once again, completing 301.800km.

Sorokin was dominant throughout the race and created a large gap between him and the rest of his competitors. Although Sorokin was gunning to set a new world record, he wasn’t able to maintain pace in the last five hours. However, he still finished with a sizeable margin.

IAU World 24-Hour Championships Results:

Women’s Results

  1. Miho Nakata (Japan) – 270.363km
  2. Olena Shevchenko (Ukraine) – 254.463km
  3. Patrycja Bereznowska (Poland) – 249.541km
  4. ​​Katja Lykke Tonstad (Denmark) – 248km
  5. Stine Rex (Denmark) – 245.8km
  6. Guler-Cionca Mara-Alexandra (Romania) – 243.8km
  7. Aleksandra Niwińska (Poland) – 242.8km
  8. Carmen Maria Perez (Spain) – 240.8km
  9. Petra Pastorová (Czech Republic) – 240km
  10. Alison Allen (United States) – 238km

Men’s Results

  1. Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) – 301.790km
  2. Fotios Zisimopoulos (Greece) – 292.254km
  3. Andrii Tkachuk (Ukraine) – 284.540km
  4. Francisco Mariano Martinez (Spain) – 282km
  5. Mihal Sulja (Serbia) – 266km
  6. Andrzej Piotrowski (Poland) – 265.8km
  7. Videtič Luka (Slovenia) – 264.8km
  8. Paul Musegaas (The Netherlands) – 263.8km
  9. Valdenir Cordeiro (Brazil) – 262.8km
  10. Daniel Hawkins (Great Britain) – 260.8km
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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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