Aleksandr Sorokin of Lithuania has run 11:14:56 (unofficial) to set a new World Best for 100 miles at the Centurion Running Track 100… and carries on to run to 12 hours.
The World 24hr Champion set out at 6am this morning with the goal of beating Zach Bitter’s 100 mile best of 11:19, set in 2019 in the US.
This afternoon the Lithuanian star achieved his goal and continued running, enjoying a 45 minute cool down to set a new 12 hour world best as well (also held by Zach Bitter with 168.7km).
The Centurion Running event is an elite only race, with strict qualification marks, set up exactly for this purpose: allowing runners to chase their best ever performances in a competitive environment.
Known for his years of hard-starting 24hr sufferfests, in recent years the casino worker has upped his game significantly, starting with a 3rd at the European Championships in 2018 and then a win at the 24hr World Championships in Albi, France in 2019.
From the start Aleksandr, who quarantined (with a treadmill) in the UK in the build-up to this event, hit the pace required and looked comfortable doing so.
Sorokin’s 5:32 for the 50 miles and 6:54 for 100km was slightly up on Bitter’s times when setting the 11:19 record, but actually a lot slower than Cavin Woodward and Don Ritchie who set their marks decades ago with much more aggressive pacing.
Centurion Running’s Race Director James Elson said “it was such a privilege to witness one of the greatest endurance athletes we’ve ever seen run what was essentially a flawless race.”
“Look at his splits” continues Elson, who worked tirelessly to make this event happen. “I don’t think there was a lap below a 1:45. Absolutely staggering consistency. And then to top that all off, he cracks on for another 45 minutes to break the World 12hr best… it’s just mind blowing.”
A British record for Amend
British international Samantha Amend ran a great race to clock 14:34:05 to break Eleanor Adams-Robinson’s 14:43:40 from 1990. Despite a few tough laps in the middle of the event that made it look in the balance, Amend showed her ultra-running prowess to finish strongly in the last few hours and going nine minutes under the previous best.
The record has been getting a lot of close attention in recent years with Jo Zakrzewski, Tracy Dean and Amend herself all running under 15 hours in the last few years, but being agonisingly close (in 100 mile terms) to the long standing record.
It was a little poetic that one of the officials on hand to ratify records at the Centurion Track 100 this weekend was Hilary Walker, previous British and World record holder.
For a compete report on the race and day as it unfolded we recommend reading Centurion Running’s own round-up here.