AT A GLANCE / MARCH 2023

Camille Herron (This image was downloaded from the athlete’s Facebook page and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended)

American ultrarunner Camille Herron sets new 48-hr world record

Camille Herron, ultrarunner from the US, set a new 48-hour world record at the 2023 Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Festival held at Canberra, Australia from March 24 to 26, 2023.

Camille ran a distance of 435.336 kilometers (270.505 miles) during the stipulated period beating the record of 411.458 km set in February 2023 by UK’s Joasia Zakrzeski at the 2023 Taipei Ultramarathon.

Camille completed 1088 laps of 400 metres each at Canberra.

Only two athletes have covered distances more than Camille during 48 hours, both men.

Andrew Tkachuk, from Ukraine, has covered a distance of 435.466 km. Greek runner, Yiannis Kouros, holds the men’s world record of 473.495 km.

Following her record breaking-run, Camille noted on her Facebook page: “ Through all the pain, I found joy in knowing I was fulfilling a purpose in life. I had to keep going, keep pushing through every challenge and find out what’s possible…This was my 3rd try for 48Hrs. I finally got it right. Don’t give up on your goals and dreams, no matter how many times it takes.’’

Indian ultrarunners qualify for IAU 24-hr World Championships at Chinese Taipei

Several Indian ultrarunners qualified recently for the IAU 24 Hour World Championships to be held later this year in Chinese Taipei.

At a recent stadium run in Bengaluru, four male runners and two female runners qualified for the upcoming championships.

Amar Singh Devanda, Velu Perumal, Badal Teotia and Geeno Antony qualified with mileages in excess of 220 km, the qualifying mark set by Athletics Federation of India, during the 24-hour period. Amar won the race with a distance of 234 km. He was followed by Velu (232 km), Badal (223.6 km) and Geeno (222.8 km).

Among women, Shashi Mehta won the race with a distance of 196 km. The qualifying mark for women was set at 180 km. Aparna Choudhary also qualified with a distance of 180.8 km.

At the Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track Festival held at Canberra, Australia, on March 24-26, 2023, an additional two Indian runners qualified for the Taipei Championships. Running a 24-hour race, Ullas Narayana covered a distance of 220.636 km during the 24-hour period. Priyanka Bhatt of Mumbai covered a distance of 184.577 km during the stipulated period.

Record three finishers at Barkley Marathon this year

Barkley Marathons, a gruelling ultrarunning event held every year, typically sees few finishers or no finishers at all.

For the second time in its history, a record three athletes completed the 2023 edition of Barkley Marathons. The race is held every year in Tennessee, USA.

The three finishers were John Kelly from USA, Aurelien Sanchez from France and Karel Sabbe from Belgium. John Kelly was also a finisher in the 2017 edition of the race.

Barkley Marathons had three finishers in 2012.

The race held in Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park is made up of five loops of about 20 miles through brushy mountains with an elevation gain of around 63,000 feet. The race is to be completed in 60 hours.

The race did not have any finishers for the past five years.

2022 Golden Globe Race / Race leaders complete their second equator crossing

The race leaders of the 2022 Golden Globe Race (GGR), Kirsten Neuschafer of South Africa and Abhilash Tomy of India, have completed their second equator-crossing of the race, this time on the way back to the start / finish line in France. GGR entails a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the planet. On the event’s live tracker, as of March 31, Kirsten with 2840.1 nautical miles to the finish continued to be in first place; Abhilash with 3137.8 nautical miles left to cover, was in second position.

Interestingly, Simon Curwen of the UK, despite having halted in Chile for repairs and relegated thus to the race’s Chichester Class, had caught up with the race leaders and was in the same region of the Atlantic. He had 2927.4 nautical miles remaining to the finish line. Given the weather conditions known to characterise these parts, progress has been slow. It is hoped that the trio should now gradually exit the Atlantic’s doldrums.

For Gopi, a setback at 2023 Seoul Marathon

Elite Indian marathoner T. Gopi had a setback at the 2023 Seoul Marathon held on March 19. During the run, he experienced a problem in his hamstring. He finished in 26th place with timing of 2:18:53. According to him, the race was progressing well and he was maintaining a pace of around 3.12 when after the 32nd kilometre, he suddenly felt a catch in his hamstring. He had to stop, stretch and jog the remaining distance.

In January 2023, Gopi had won the Tata Mumbai Marathon in 2:16:41, signalling a return to good performance after knee surgery and months of the sporting calendar impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

(The authors, Latha Venkatraman and Shyam G Menon, are independent journalists based in Mumbai.)

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