Difference between revisions of "Ultramarathon"

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===Mountain and trails===
===Mountain and trails===
* [[American River 50 Mile Endurance Run]]
* [[American River 50 Mile Endurance Run]]
* [[Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run]]
* [[Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run]]

Revision as of 16:28, 28 January 2007

An ultramarathon is any running event longer than the traditional Marathon length of 42.195 kilometers (26.21875 miles, 46,145 yards).

There are generally two types of ultramarathon runs: events that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during a specified time frame (with the winner covering the most distance in that time).

Common distances

The format of these events and the courses covered are quite variable, ranging from single or multiple loops (some as short as a 400 meter track), to point-to-point road or trail races. Many ultrarunning events, especially trail challenges, are characterized by 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 five to fifteen km apart, where runners can replenish food and drink supplies or take a short break.

Timed events range from six, twelve or 24 hours, to two, three and six days (known as 'multi-day' events). Timed events are generally run on a track or a short road course, often one mile or less.

Ultramarathons over the world

Ultramarathons are run all over the world, and over 70,000 people complete an ultramarathon every year. A list of the most popular ultra marathons can be found under the subsection "Well-known ultramarathons" below.

Ultrarunning in Africa

Several ultradistance events are held in Africa. South Africa hosts the world's oldest and largest ultramarathon, the 84km Comrades Marathon. Approximately 12,000 runners complete Comrades each year, and approximately 20,000 in 2000. It also hosts the 56 kilometer long Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town every spring which attracts 7,000 to 10,000 runners.

Ultrarunning in Asia

Ultrarunning has become quite popular in Asia recently, and countries and regions such as Taiwan, Japan, and Korea have hosted IAU World Championships in the last few years.

Ultrarunning in Australia and New Zealand

The first ultramarathon held in Australia and New Zealand was likely a track 100km in New Zealand. Today, Australia and New Zealand are host to approximately 100 ultramarathons each year. One of the most famous Australian ultra Marathons was the Westfield Ultra Marathon, an annual race between Sydney and Melbourne which was 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 6 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 epic battles since its inception in 1984. The 20th Cliff Young Australian 6-day race was held between the 20-26 Nov 2005. Kouros rewrote the record book in that event when he beat his existing world 6-day track mark and set a new mark of 1036.851 km.

Ultrarunning in Europe

Ultrarunning is also quite popular in Europe, where over 200 ultramarathons are held each year, among the biggest the 100k of Bienne]] and the 72.7k Rennsteiglauf in the Thuringian Forest. The second oldest ultramarathon in the world, London to Brighton, was widely considered to be among the most prestigious titles until its retirement in 2005. The earliest written documentation of ultrarunners came from Icelandic sagas. The history of ultrarunners and walkers from the Victorian Era has also been documented. The IAU hosts annual European Championships for the 50k, 100k and 24 hours. The European Ultramarathon Cup (ECU) is an annual series covering several of the biggest races in different European Countries. An extreme challenge in Germany is the annually multiday Deutschlandlauf (German Run) over 1200km

Ultrarunning in North America

There are several hundred ultramarathons held annually in North America. One of the most popular 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.

One of the first documented ultramarathons in North America was held in 1926, as part of the Central American Games. Tomas Zafiro and Leonicio San Miguel, both Tarahumara Indians, ran 100K from Puchuca to Mexico City in 9 hours and 37 minutes. At the time, the Mexican government petitioned to include the 100K in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, however nothing came of these efforts.

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 kicked off her ultra career at age 42 with a world record at 50 kilometers, 3:36:56, and who went on to set a string of US and world ultra records.

Ultrarunning magazine has created the Ultrarunner of the Year an annual announcement of who has been the most impressive ultrarunner that year. 2006 UotY is

Well-known ultramarathons

Road and dirt paths

Mountain and trails

Ultra Challenge Series

Extreme conditions

Very long events and multidays

Well-known ultramarathon runners

  • Achim Heukemes, trans-Australia record holder
  • Alexis Lapointe, early Canadian ultra-distance running legend
  • Andy Jones, Canadian owner of the 100m world record (12:05:43)
  • Ann Trason, thirteen time Western States winner; holds numerous world records, including 100 mile (13:47:41 1991), 50m (5:40:18, 1991) , and 12 Hours (147.6k, 1991); American 100k record holder (7:00:48)
  • Anne Riddle Lundblad, former member, USA World 100k team; 2nd place 2005 World 100K Interview
  • Dr. Bernd Heinrich, US 100m track record holder (12:27:01), naturalist
  • Birgit Lennartz, former Comrades Marathon winner
  • Bjorg Austrheim-Smith, three time Western States winner
  • Bruce Fordyce, nine time Comrades Marathon winner; African 100K record holder (6:25:07)
  • Carolyn Hunter-Rowe, multiple world record holder, including track 50K, 30M, 40M; two time World 100K champion
  • Cavin Woodward, Former World Record Holder 30 mile, Former World Record Holder 50 Mile 100km 150km 100Mile (all in the same race), Winner of London to Brighton, Two Bridges. Legendary for his fast starts
  • Cliff Young, former winner Westfield Sydney to Melbourne; holds numerous world age records
  • Constantin Santalov, three-time World 100K champion; considered to be one of the best 100K runners of all time
  • Dave Warady, winner of the inaugural Trans-America Footrace
  • Denis Jalybin, 150km track world record holder
  • Dick Collins, San Francisco Bay Area ultra legend, with over 1,000 races run
  • Dipali Cunningham, champion multi-day race runner
  • Don Choi, modern six day race pioneer
  • Don Paul, once held unofficial world 50k road record, author, musician
  • Don Ritchie
  • Hilary Walker, female ultrarunning pioneer, holds multiple world records; first female council member of IAU
  • Dr. Mark Werner, former team member, USA World 100k
  • Edit Berces, world record holder, 24 hour treadmill; holds several Hungarian records
  • Eleanor Adams Robinson, female ultrarunning pioneer, holds multiple world records
  • Frith van der Merwe, set Comrades Marathon records for both directions
  • Gard Leighton, US senior division (50+) record holder at 100m (14:56:19, 1985) and 200k (21:07:11, 1986)
  • George Parrott, Buffalo Chips Running Club guru
  • Gordy Ansleigh, Western States pioneer, 'inventor' of the trail ultramarathon
  • Jean-Paul Praet, European 100k record holder (6:15:30)
  • Jesper Olsen, has run around the world in 22 months (2004-'05); won the Australian 6-days race (2004)
  • Jose Cortez, once held US 100 mile road record
  • Leslie Watson, former world record holder, 50m; former London-Brighton winner; most marathon/ultramarathon wins: 68 of 207 races
  • Maria Bak, former women's winner, Comrades Marathon, holds 10th fastest 100k record of all time
  • Mario Ardegmani, World 100K champion, 2004
  • Mario Fattore, World 100K Champion, 2002 & 2003
  • Mark Godale, former USATF ultrarunner of the year.
  • Mensen Ernst, early 19th century professional runner; ran from Paris to Moscow. Died as he was running along the Nile, looking for its source.
  • Monica Casiraghi, former World 100K champion (2003)
  • Nikki Kimball, 2004 USA Outstanding Female Ultrarunner award winner; former member, USA World 100K team
  • Oleg Kharitonov, 100 mile track world record holder
  • Pam Reed, only woman to have won the Badwater Ultramarathon; former member, USA 24 hour team
  • Rae Clark, holds US records for 24 hours (165.3 miles, 1990) and 100 mile road (12:12:19)
  • Rich Hanna, 1994 US 100k champ, author
  • Rimas Jakelaitis, champion multi-day race runner
  • Rosie Swale-Pope, Round-the-world runner, started late 2003 in the UK, reached Alaska in 2005, continuing.
  • Sandra Barwick, world record holder, 6 day track
  • Sandra Kiddy, former multiple world and American record holder for various ultra distances
  • Scott Jurek, seven time Western States winner and record holder (15:36:27), and two time Badwater Ultra winner and record holder (24:36)
  • Serge Girard, trans-continental runner
  • Stu Mittleman, US record holder for six day race (578 miles)
  • Suprabha Beckjord 3100 mile race record holder
  • Takahiro Sunada, 100k world record holder: 6:13:33 set in Tokyo, 1998
  • Tatyana Zhyrkova, European 100k world record holder (7:10:32)
  • Ted Corbitt, "father of American ultrarunning"; 1952 US Olympic team member; former American world record holder at various distances
  • Thompson Magawana, world record holder, 30 mile road
  • Tim Twietmeyer, five time Western States winner, 25-time Western States finisher Interview
  • Tom Johnson, 100k American record holder (6:30:11)
  • Tomoe Abe, 100k female world record holder (6:33:11)
  • Valentina Lyachova , world record holder, track 50m and 6 hours
  • Vladimir Kotov, former Comrades Marathon winner
  • Wally Hayward, Multiple winner of Comrades Marathon, London to Brighton, many other ultramarathons
  • Walt Stack, San Francisco Bay Area running icon
  • Yiannis Kouros, multi-day race legend, holder of numerous world records and world bests from 24 hours to 1,000m
  • Karl Meltzer, record holder for Wasatch and Hardrock, plus multiple wins in H.U.R.T., The Bear, and other races

See also

Ultrarunning magazine

External links


Marathons, Ultramarathons and Multiday Events