New 100 Mile and 12 Hour Records!

love ultramarathon distances! Running races of any distance up to and including the marathon can be daunting tasks. But there is always an element of being able to just gut it out to finish even if everything seems to go wrong. Once you get into Ultramarathon territory, you are talking about needing just about everything to go right! You cannot fake a great 100 mile race! I have never DNFed (Did Not Finish) a marathon or any distance below a 50K for that matter. But, the 100 mile distance has beat me twice – both times were ended by some muscle issues that happened. The amazing thing about the long ultras is this – no matter if everything seems to go right, you still need a tremendous amount of mental power to push through to the end!

Zach Bitter – New American Record Holder for 100 Miles and World Record Holder for 12 Hour Distance

That mental power is essential for a 100 mile race to be sure. It is even more necessary when that 100 mile race takes place on a track! That was the site of this past weekend’s Desert Solstice 100 Mile Track Meet. It was also the site of Zach Bitter’s unbelievable 100 mile record of 11 hours and 47 minutes! For good measure, he went on to run another 1.66 miles to set the new world record for the longest distance run in 12 hours.

That is scorching! Think about this – his 100 mile pace was 7 minutes and 4 seconds per mile. That is his average pace for 100 miles. He had to take a couple of breaks for bathroom stops along the way as well as some other slower times for food and nutrition. That means that many of his miles were sub seven minutes! That is unbelievable! That is faster than my best half-marathon time! Hats off to the new 100 mile and 12 hour record holder, Zach Bitter! If you would like to follow some of his stuff on his blog, here is the link.

Pam Smith – New World Record Holder for 100 Miles

Zach’s record was not the only record set that day. Pam Smith set a new world record for 100 miles by a woman – 14 hours and 11 minutes for 100 miles! That is another amazing number! Her pace for that distance was 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Simply awesome! This is another feather in the cap of the woman who won the Western States 100 this year. Congrats to Pam Smith!

What do you think about these races and paces? They are simply unbelievable! Also, can you imagine running 100 miles, let alone doing it on a track? 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • These ultrarunners are not humans… :D.

    I have and will never attempt an ultra. Heck i’m thinking about retiring from full marathons as I am showing signs of joint issues before 30. 🙁

    • That is a shame to be dealing with joint problems! There is something about hitting the late-20s, 30s. I am 31 now and do not have the energy to run as many long distances as often as I did a few years ago (having young children DEFINITELY presents a good reason!).
      One thing to think about – ultras (especially trail ultras) can be easier on the joints than marathons. There is not that necessity to go hard and pound the whole way. The motion at slower speeds is a more comfortable pace for the body. Also, the trails can present a softer surface for the joints on landing. Try doing a trail run sometime without keeping track of pace just to see if it works.