Ultramarathon

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Ultramarathoners compete at the Sahara Race 2011 (4 Deserts)

An ultramarathon, also called ultra distance or ultra running, is any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 km, 26.2 miles.

Overview[edit]

There are two types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during time (with the winner covering the most distance in that time). The most common distances are 50 km, 100 km, 50 m, and 100 m, although many races have other distances. The 100 kilometers is recognized as an official world record event by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of track and field.

Other distances/times include double marathons, 24-hour races, and multiday races of 1000 m or even longer. The format of these events and the courses vary, ranging from single or multiple loops (some as short as a 400 m track),If the loop is less than 1 km, run direction changes every 2–4 (sometimes 6) hours to point-to-point road or trail races, to cross-country rogaines. Many ultramarathons, especially trail challenges, have severe course obstacles, such as inclement weather, elevation change, or rugged terrain. Many of these races are run on dirt roads or mountain paths, though some are run on paved roads as well. Usually, there are aid stations every 20-35 km apart, where runners can replenish food and drink supplies or take a short break. Timed events range from 6, 12, and 24 hours to 3, 6, and 10 days and longer, known as multiday events. Timed events are generally run on a track or a short road course, often one mile (1.6 km) or less.

The International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) organises the World Championships for various ultramarathon distances, including 50 km, 100 km, 24 hours, and ultra trail running, which are also recognized by the IAAF. Many countries around the world have their own ultrarunning organizations, often the national athletics federation of that country, or are sanctioned by such national athletics organizations. World records for distances, times, and ages are tracked by the IAU.

Racewalking events are usually 50 km, although 100 km and 100 mile (160 km) "Centurion" races are also organized. Furthermore, the non-competitive International Marching League event Nijmegen Four Days March has a regulation distance of 4 × 50 km over three days for men aged 19–49.

IAU World Best Performances[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Record Athlete Date Place Ref
50 km Road 2:43:38 Template:Flagathlete 12 April 1988 Template:Flagicon Claremont, South Africa [1]
50 km Track 2:48:06 Template:Flagathlete 7 June 1980 Template:Flagicon Timperley, United Kingdom [1]
100 km Road 6:13:33 Template:Flagathlete 21 June 1998 Template:Flagicon Yubetsu-Saroma-Tokoro, Japan [1]
100 km Track 6:10:20 Template:Flagathlete 28 Oct 1978 Template:Flagicon London, United Kingdom [1]
100 miles Road 11:46:37 Template:Flagathlete 7-8 Nov 1984 Template:Flagicon Queens, New York, USA [1]
100 miles Track 11:28:03 Template:Flagathlete 20 Oct 2002 Template:Flagicon London, United Kingdom [1]
100 miles Indoor 12:56:13 Template:Flagathlete 3-4 Feb 1990 Template:Flagicon Milton Keynes, United Kingdom [1]
6H Road 92.188 km Template:Flagathlete 7 Mar 2004 Template:Flagicon Stein, Netherland [1]
6H Track 97.200 km Template:Flagathlete 28 Oct 1978 Template:Flagicon London, United Kingdom [1]
6H Indoor 93.247 km Template:Flagathlete 7-8 Feb 2003 Template:Flagicon Moscow, Russia [1]
12H Road 162.543 km Template:Flagathlete 7 Nov 1984 Template:Flagicon New York City, USA [1]
12H Track 163.600 km Template:Flagathlete 14 Dec 2013 Template:Flagicon Phoenix, USA [1]
12H Indoor 146.296 km Template:Flagathlete 11 Feb 2007 Template:Flagicon Lohja Citymarket, Finland [1]
24H Road 290.221 km Template:Flagathlete 2–3 May 1998 Template:Flagicon Basel, Switzerland [1]
24H Track 303.506 km Template:Flagathlete 4-5 Oct 1997 Template:Flagicon Adelaide, Australia [1]
24H Indoor 257.576 km Template:Flagathlete 27-28 Feb 1993 Template:Flagicon Podolsk, Russia [1]
48H Road 433.095 km Template:Flagathlete 2–3 May 1998 Template:Flagicon Basel, Switzerland [1]
48H Track 473.495 km Template:Flagathlete 3–5 May 1996 Template:Flagicon Surgeres, France [1]
48H Indoor 426.178 km Template:Flagathlete 16 Mar 2007 Template:Flagicon Brno, Czech Republic [1]

Women[edit]

Event Record Athlete Date Place Ref
50 km Road 3:08:39 Template:Flagathlete 25 March 1989 Template:Flagicon Claremont, South Africa [1]
50 km Track 3:18:52 Template:Flagathlete 3 March 1996 Template:Flagicon Barry, Wales United Kingdom [1]
100 km Road 6:33:11 Template:Flagathlete 25 June 2000 Template:Flagicon Yubetsu-Saroma-Tokoro, Japan [1]
100 km Track 7:14:06 Template:Flagathlete 27 Sept 2003 Template:Flagicon San Giovanni Lupatoto, Italy [1]
100 miles Road 13:47:41 Template:Flagathlete 4 May 1991 Template:Flagicon Queens, New York, USA [1]
100 miles Track 14:11:26 Template:Flagathlete 14 Dec 2013 Template:Flagicon Phoenix, USA [2]
100 miles Indoor 14:43:40 Template:Flagathlete 3-4 Feb 1990 Template:Flagicon Milton Keynes, United Kingdom [1]
6H Road 82.838 km Template:Flagathlete 7 July 2001 Template:Flagicon Kiel, Germany [1]
6H Track 83.200 km Template:Flagathlete 27 Sept 2003 Template:Flagicon San Giovanni Lupatoto, Italy [1]
6H Indoor 80.600 km Template:Flagathlete 7-8 Feb 2003 Template:Flagicon Moscow, Russia [1]
12H Road 144.840 km Template:Flagathlete 4 May 1991 Template:Flagicon Queens, New York, USA [1]
12H Track 147.600 km Template:Flagathlete 3-4 Aug 1991 Template:Flagicon Hayward, USA [1]
12H Indoor 135.799 km Template:Flagathlete 11 Feb 2007 Template:Flagicon Lohja Citymarket, Finland [1]
24H Road 252.205 km Template:Flagathlete 11–12 May 2013 Template:Flagicon Steenbergen, Netherlands [1]
24H Track 255.303 km Template:Flagathlete 9-10 Dec 2011 Template:Flagicon Soochow, Taipei [1]
24H Indoor 240.631 km Template:Flagathlete 29-30 Jan 2011 Template:Flagicon Espoo, Finland [1]
48H Road 368.687 km Template:Flagathlete 8-10 Apr 2011 Template:Flagicon Athens, Greece [1]
48H Track 397.103 km Template:Flagathlete 21–23 May 2010 Template:Flagicon Surgeres, France [1]
48H Indoor 390.024 km Template:Flagathlete 4-6 Aug 2014 Template:Flagicon Anchorage, USA [1]

IAU World Championships[edit]

There are four IAU World Championships: the IAU 100 km World Championships, IAU 50 km World Championships, IAU 24 Hour World Championship, and the IAU Trial World Championship.[3]

The IAU 24 Hour World Championship is held annually. Originally begun as a track event in 2001, it was rebooted as a road event in 2003. It also incorporates the IAU 24 Hour European Championship.[4]

IAU 100 km World Championships[edit]

Year Location Champion (m) Champion (f)
1987 Template:Flagicon Torhout Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1988 Template:Flagicon Santander Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1989 Template:Flagicon Rambouillet Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1990 Template:Flagicon Duluth Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1991 Template:Flagicon Faenza Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1992 Template:Flagicon Palamós Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1993 Template:Flagicon Torhout Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1994 Template:Flagicon Yubetsu/Saroma/Tokoro Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1995 Template:Flagicon Winschoten Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1996 Template:Flagicon Moscow Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1997 Template:Flagicon Winschoten Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1998 Template:Flagicon Shimanto Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
1999 Template:Flagicon Chavagnes-en-Paillers Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2000 Template:Flagicon Winschoten Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2001 Template:Flagicon Cléder Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2002 Template:Flagicon Torhout Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2003 Template:Flagicon Tainan Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2004 Template:Flagicon Winschoten Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2005 Template:Flagicon Yubetsu/Saroma/Tokoro Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2006 Template:Flagicon Misari Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2007 Template:Flagicon Winschoten Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2008 Template:Flagicon Rome Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2009 Template:Flagicon Torhout Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2010 Template:Flagicon Gibraltar Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2011 Template:Flagicon Winschoten Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2012 Template:Flagicon Seregno Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2013 cancelled
2014 Template:Flagicon Doha Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2015 Template:Flagicon Winschoten Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete
2016 Template:Flagicon Los Alcázares Template:Flagathlete Template:Flagathlete

World or national-record holding or world-championship-winning ultramarathon runners[edit]

For reliable and updated information, see the IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) annual report of current world records on its newest "World's Best Performances" page in statistics.

Ultramarathons by regions[edit]

Ultra Marathons are run around the world with more than 70,000 people completing them every year.Template:Citation needed

Africa[edit]

Several ultra distance events are held in Africa.

Asia[edit]

Ultrarunning has become popular in Asia recently, and countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have hosted IAU World Championships.

  • Japan had its first 100 km event in 1987 as Lake Saroma Ultramarathon and hosted IAU 100 km World Championship in 1994 (Lake Saroma), 1998 (River Shimanto) and 2005 (Lake Saroma).[13] Japan hosts more than 50 ultramarathon events throughout the year,[14] among which are Trans Japan Alps Race (TJAR) (Template:Convert with more than Template:Convert cumulative altitude gain crossing Japan Alps, crossing Japan's mainland from Japan Sea to Pacific Ocean in 7 days),[15][16] Hasetsune cup (Template:Convert in steep foggy mountains)[17] and Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji (UTMF) (Template:Convert loop around World Heritage Mt. Fuji with cumulative altitude gain of about Template:Convert).[18][19]
  • South Korea's first ultramarathon was held in 2000.
  • The Gobi March in northwest China was China's first ultramarathon, first staged in 2003. The Gobi March is part of the 4 Deserts Race Series.[20]
  • India's first ultra marathon, the Bangalore Ultra was held in 2007.[21][22] Since 2010, Indian Himalayas have hosted La Ultra – The High, a 333 km course crossing Khardung La, touted to be the world's highest motorable mountain pass.[23]
  • Soochow International 24H Ultra-Marathon is held since 1999 in Taipei, and is an official IAU-registered event.
  • A night race called the Sundown Marathon has been held in Singapore annually since 2008, over a double marathon distance (84 km) up to 2010 and 100 km since then.[24]
  • Nepal hosts several ultramarathon races,[25] including the Annapurna 100, the Kanchenjunga Ultra Marathon Trail Running Race [26] and the Everest Ultra.[27]
  • Northern Mongolia hosts an annual 100 km summer race, Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset.[28]
  • Malaysia's first ultra trail marathon was founded in November 2011 and is known as the TMBT (The Most Beautiful Thing) in Sabah at Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia's highest mountain. The event has a 55% drop out rate and is a 3-point qualifying race for Ultra Du Mont Blanc and a 2-point qualifying race for the 55 kilometer category of the event. This was followed by the Beaufort Ultra Marathon in Sabah organized in 2012 and a 60 kilometer endurance run under 35-39 degree Celsius morning and afternoon heat with a 60% finish rate amongst runners.[29] First 100 miles ultra marathon road race, Putrajaya 100 Miles, was held on 22–23 November 2014. The first 200 km ultra will be held on 6–8 March 2015 in Titi, Selangor (TITI100). Other ultra races such as Back2Endurance, G5N, and Gunung Nuang Ultra were organized by the Malaysia Ultra Running
  • Indonesia's first ultramarathon race, Mount Rinjani Ultra (52K), was held on August 2013 and Indonesia's first 100K & 160K ultramarathon race, Bromo Tengger Semeru 100 Ultra, was held on November 2013.
  • In the Cebu, Philippines, Ultramarathons has gained quite a number of followers. An All-Women Ultra Marathon race covering a distance of 50 kilometers is held annually on the weekend of International Women's Day since 2012.[30]
  • Clark Freeport Zone in the Philippines is the venue for two of the Philippines premier ultramarathon events. The Clark Miyamit Ultra, known as CM50 a 60K and 50Mile Trail Ultramarathon that takes runners to traverse from Clark to the Aeta Villages, lahar bed, mountain ranges near Mt. Pinatubo and the iconic Miyamit Falls. Cardimax - Clark Ultramarathon is a road ultramarathon of 50K and 100K distance which brings and gathers ultramarathoners from aspiring ones to the most competitive elites.
  • In Israel, two major ultramarathon races are commenced annually - Mount to Valley relay race; over 215 km, from the hills of the Upper Galilee to the Jezreel Valley, and the Valley Circle race in the Jezreel valley; contains several distances, including 160 km and 200 km.

Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand[edit]

Australia and New Zealand are hosts to some 100 organized ultramarathons each year. Additionally a handful of runners have run the entire length of New Zealand, a distance of around Template:Convert.[31] The most recent runner's being Lisa Tamati and Andrew Hedgman who both completed the challenge separately in 2009 and 2010.

Australia

In Australia, the Westfield Ultra Marathon was an annual race between Sydney and Melbourne contested between 1983 and 1991. Greek runner Yiannis Kouros won the event five times during that period. Australia is also the home of one of the oldest six-day races in the world, the Cliff Young Australian 6-day race, held in Colac, Victoria. The race is held on a 400-meter circuit at the Memorial Square in the centre of Colac, and has seen many close races since its inception in 1984. The 20th Cliff Young Australian six-day race was held between 20 and 26 November 2005. During that event, Kouros beat his existing world record six-day track mark and set a new mark of Template:Convert. The Coast to Kosciuszko inaugurated in 2004, is a Template:Convert marathon from the coast to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mountain.

Australia has seen a steep growth in Ultrarunning events and participants in recent years. Many new races have come into inception, covering a range of Ultramarathon distances from 50 km right through to multi-day events. The cornerstone of Australian Ultra events being such races as; Ultra-Trail Australia 100, Bogong To Hotham, Alpine Challenge, and the Cradle Mountain Run.[32] The Australian Ultra Runners Association (AURA) has a comprehensive list and links of events and their respective results.[33]

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand's first ultramarathon called The Kepler Challenge was held on a Template:Convert trail through Fiordland National Park, which has been running since 1988 and is one of the country's most popular races. New Zealand's Northburn 100 ultra mountain run is the first 100-mile (160 km) race through the Northburn Station. The world-famous Te Houtaewa Challenge has a 62 km race on ninety mile beach, Northland. The field of international and local runners have to contend with rising tides and soft beach sand and the March race dates often means the race is run in the cyclone season. In 2014 the ultramarathon was postponed because of Cyclone Lucy. In 2016 the race will be in its jubilee and the 25th anniversary will see many of its past runners compete for the honour of the ultimate challenge winner.

In November 2012, Kim Allan planned to run and/or walk Template:Convert nonstop, without sleep, on the Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile track at the Auckland Domain. Her aim was to beat ultrarunner Pam Reed's record of Template:Convert.[34] According to her Facebook page, she only managed Template:Convert. She eventually passed the 500 kilometre mark at 86 hours, 11 minutes, and 9 seconds, breaking the Template:Convert women's record.[35]

In April 2013, a Feilding man, Perry Newburn, set a new New Zealand record by running Template:Convert without sleep at Feilding's Manfield Park.[36]

Ultramarathon running in New Zealand has a national body: the New Zealand Ultrarunners Association.

Oceania[edit]

Papua New Guinea has the Kokoda Challenge Race, an annual 96 km endurance race held in late August that runs the length of the historic Kokoda Track.[37]

Papua New Guinea also has the The Great Kokoda Race, a multi-stage 96 km (3 day) race held in early July where competitors run or walk the length of the Kokoda Track.[38]

Europe[edit]

In Europe, ultrarunning can trace its origins with early documentation of ultrarunners from Icelandic sagasTemplate:Citation needed, or the antique Greece from where the idea of the Marathon, and the Spartathlon comes. The history of ultrarunners and walkers in the UK from the Victorian Era has also been documented. The IAU hosts annual European Championships for the 50 km, 100 km and 24 hours.

There are over 300 ultramarathons held in Europe each year.Template:Citation needed

Antarctica[edit]

Due to logistics and environmental concerns there are only a handful of ultramarathons held in Antarctica, and travel costs can mean entrance fees as high as $14,000.[39] Ultramarathons in Antarctica include: The Last Desert, part of the 4 Deserts Race Series, a multi-stage footrace, and the Antarctic Ice Marathon – a marathon and 100-kilometer race.

North America[edit]

There are several hundred ultramarathons held annually in North America. One of the best known is the Western States Endurance Run, the world's oldest 100-mile trail run. The race began unofficially in 1974, when local horseman Gordy Ainsleigh's horse for the 100-mile Tevis Cup horse race came up lame. He decided to travel the course on foot, finishing in 23 hours and 47 minutes.Template:Citation needed

One of the first documented ultramarathons in North America was held in 1926, and at the time was part of the Central American Games. Tomas Zafiro and Leoncio San Miguel, both Tarahumara Indians, ran 100 km from Pachuca to Mexico City in 9 hours and 37 minutes. At the time, the Mexican government petitioned to include a 100 km race in the 1928 Summer Olympics in AmsterdamTemplate:Citation needed; however, nothing came of these efforts.

File:100 Mile Footraces in the Contiguous United States, 2011.svg
100 Mile Footraces in the Contiguous United States, 2011

In 1928, sports agent C. C. Pyle organized the first of two editions of the 3,455-mile-long Bunion Derby (the first went along U.S. Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago before heading toward New York; the 1929 Derby reversed the route). Neither the race nor the accompanying vaudeville show was a financial success.

Since 1997, runners have been competing in the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, which is billed as the longest official footrace in the world. They run 100 laps a day for up to 50 days around a single block in Queens, NY, for a total distance of Template:Convert.[11] The Latest Trans-American Footrace (2015) winner was Robert HP Young (Marathon Man UK) Winning in a time of 482 hours 10 minutes 00 seconds [40]

In April 2006, the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame was established by the American Ultrarunning Association (AUA). Candidates for the Hall of Fame are chosen from the 'modern era' of American ultras, beginning with the New York Road Runners Club 30 Mile race held in 1958. The Inaugural inductees were Ted Corbitt, a former US Olympian, winner of the aforementioned race in 3:04:13, and co-founder of the Road Runners Club of America, and Sandra Kiddy, who began her ultra career at age 42 with a world record at 50 kilometers, 3:36:56, and who went on to set a number of US and world ultra records.

South America[edit]

There are a small number of ultramarathons in South America, but participation in the sport is increasing. The Brazil 135 Ultramarathon is a single-stage race of 135 miles ( 217 km) with a 60-hour cutoff, held in Brazil. This is a Badwater "sister race".[41] Several ultramarathons are held in Chile and with both local and international participation.[42] Ultramarathons held in Chile include:

  • Atacama Xtreme 50K, 80K and the first 100 Miles in Chile. One loop for each distance starting and finishing in San Pedro de Atacama at an avg. of 2,400 above sea level.[43]
  • The Endurance Challenge, a 10K, 21K, 50K and 80K trail running race held in the Andes mountain range near Santiago. It is part of the global Endurance Challenge circuit. The race seeks to promote the sport, outdoor activity and the use of mountain trails, taking care to have the lowest impact possible on the environment.
  • The Lican Ray-Villarrica Ultramarathon, a 70 km marathon that starts in Lican Ray, climbs Villarrica Volcano and ends in downtown Villarrica.
  • The Atacama Crossing, established in 2004, a 250 km (155 mile) ultramarathon which takes place in the Atacama desert, around San Pedro de Atacama, Chile[44] and crosses through the driest place on earth. There are six stages in seven days, with almost four marathons run in the first four days, then a 74 km stretch, then a rest day and a final stage of 11 km. It is part of the 4 Deserts Series. The race covers rugged terrain, with a harsh climate and an altitude that averages 2500 m (8000 ft). The race uses the town of San Pedro de Atacama as its host town, and in 2012 the race began at its highest point of over 3,000m in the Arcoiris Valley.
File:AtacamValley.jpg
View from the Atacama Crossing 2011.
  • The Patagonian International Marathon, organized by NIGSA, takes place in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Chilean Patagonia. The event features four race distances: an ultramarathon (63 km), marathon (42 km), half marathon (21 km) and a 10K. Each distance has a different starting point, but everyone finishes in the same place. The event has the secondary goal of promoting the conservation of Chilean Patagonia and contributing to the sustainable development of the region through the planting of trees in the Torres del Paine National Park through the "Corre y Reforesta" (Run and Reforest) campaign[45] run by the organization "Reforestemos Patagonia" (Let's Reforest Patagonia)[46]
  • The Rapa Nui GrandTrail, an 80k ultramarathon that takes place on Easter Island, Valparaíso Region, Chile. This exotic trail, far out in the Pacific Ocean, takes in the famous Moai statues of the island.[47]

International Trail Running Association (ITRA)[edit]

Many ultramarathon organizers are members of the International Trail Running Association (ITRA), an organization which promotes values, diversity, health and safety during races, as well as working to further the development of trail running and helps to coordinate between the national and international bodies with an interest in the sport. ITRA also evaluates of the difficulty of specific ultramarathon routes according to a number of criteria, such as the distance, the cumulative elevation gain, and the number of loops and stages. ITRA maintains a calendar of ultramarathon events.

Born to Run[edit]

In 2009, Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run was released. It contained both anthropological and scientific information, and is about a society of ultramarathoners. It was not the first book written specifically about ultramarathons, but McDougall included controversial conclusions about humanity's roots in long distance running that attracted attention to the sport. It became a national bestseller and a Forbes and Washington Post book of the year.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Source[edit]

[edit]

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