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Lithuanian ultrarunner Aleksandr Sorokin breaks 100-mile, 12-hour world records at U.K. race

Lithuanian ultrarunner Aleksandr Sorokin broke the 100-mile and 12-hour world records at an event in Ashford, U.K., on Saturday, setting marks of 11:14:56 and 170.309K in the two categories. These results beat American Zach Bitter‘s world records, both of which he ran at the Six Days in the Dome event in Wisconsin in 2019. According to Centurion Running, the company that organized the elite-only event, Sorokin also broke the 150K world record (10:27:48) and the Lithuanian 50-mile best (5:32:01) on his way to the 12-hour finish. 

Sorokin is no stranger to big results, and his resume includes top finishes at the 2019 IAU 24-Hour World Championships, which he won with a total of 278K in 24 hours, and the 2017 Spartathlon ultra in Greece, where he completed the 246K course in a little over 22 hours. His list of accomplishments just got even more impressive, though, with his records from Saturday’s run. 

The event, which was dubbed the Centurion Track 100, featured a lineup of just 15 elite runners, each of whom was personally invited to compete. Entrants ran on a regular 400m track, and despite the race’s monotony and repetitiveness, Sorokin thrived, powering through each lap for 12 straight hours. He ran an incredibly even race the whole way, averaging 4:07 per-kilometer pace through 50K (he posted a 3:25:38 split), 4:08 pace after 50 miles (5:32:01) and the same at the 100K checkpoint (6:54:25).

After 100 miles (another 60K of running after he hit the 100K mark in the race), Sorokin faded only slightly, and his overall pace for the record run to that point was 4:12 per kilometre. His 170K in 12 hours works out to 4:14 per-kilometre pace. For context, that’s like running 16 straight 10Ks and finishing each one in about 42 minutes. Sorokin’s results bettered Bitter’s 100-mile record of 11:19:13 and 12-hour record of 168K from 2019. 

While Sorokin was chasing down his world bests, Britain’s Samantha Amend was busy working on records of her own. At the six-hour mark, Amend set the W40 British record of 72.995K, and she passed through 100 miles in 14:34:05, breaking the open national record for the distance. Several other athletes set national age group records over the various distances as well on Saturday. 

All records set in Ashford are still unofficial, but the Centurion Running website notes that the course was certified by UK Athletics, so the times should all be ratified soon. 

(04/26/2021) Views: 1,045 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

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