Last week, there was a 24 hour race on a track in Poland. 24 hour races are fairly common in the ultramarathon world but this one was very special because of something one man, Sania Sorokin, did in one full day of running. You may not have heard about it but it is one of the truly incredible endurance records in the world.
A New 24 Hour Running World Record
Sania Sorokin – New Ultra Running Champion – Again
His Previous World Records
Sania Sorokin is from Lithuania (as someone who is part Lithuanian, that is great news for me!) and a 39 year old runner. He already set two world records in running earlier this year, the fastest 100 miles and the most miles run in 12 hours. He did both of those records at a single event, running the 100 miles in 11 hours, 14 minutes, and 56 seconds. With 45 minutes and 4 seconds left, he kept on going to secure the 12 hour record with 105.825 miles in that time. Curious what that breaks down to per mile? 6 minutes and 48 seconds per mile, average, for 12 hours!
Chasing the 24 Hour World Record
So, Sania already has some pretty serious running potential as he approached the 24 hour world record. The previous 24 hour world record has been in place for 24 years, set by Greek ultra running legend, Yiannis Kouros. That record was 188.52 miles in 24 hours.
What It Takes to Run for 24 Hours
As someone who has attempted a 24 hour run, I can tell you that there are plenty of things that can go wrong. You have to consider weather, precipitation, clouds, etc but also body things like the digestion system and how it handles itself throughout an entire day. During one 24 hour event, the humidity started wreaking havoc on my guys around mile 60 and eventually caused me to drop.
You also have things like your feet and muscles and a final barrier in the way is the human mind. It is difficult to not think in terms of distance (so, the faster you run, the sooner you finish) but to think in terms of time. Trust me, there are a lot of highs and lows over a period of 24 hours, especially as you get physically tired and want to sleep!
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Remember, Sania was not just trying to run for 24 hours – he had to keep going at a good speed to break this record. And, break the record he did! He ran 192.25 miles in 24 hours! So, what does that translate to in pace? He ran a 7 minute and 29 second per mile pace, average for 24 hours! If you don’t know how fast that is, go outside with your smartwatch or smartphone and download a running app with GPS. Once it is ready to go, go try to run a 7:30 mile.
That is very fast! My best marathon distance (26.2 miles) comes out to a 7:59 pace per mile – he went 30 seconds faster than that per mile and for an additional 170 miles than I did! Mind blown!
You can read more about Sania in this Runner’s World article here. Congratulations to Sania and I really hope he picks up one or more sponsors to continue chasing these records!