Ultramarathon

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Ultramarathoners compete at the Sahara Race 2011 (4 Deserts)

An ultramarathon, also called ultra distance, is any sporting event involving running and walking longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi).

There are two types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during specified time (with the winner covering the most distance in that time). The most common distances are 50 kilometres (31.069 mi), 100 kilometres (62.137 mi), 50 miles (80.4672 km), and 100 miles (160.9344 km), 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.[1]

Other distances/times include double marathons, 24-hour races, and multiday races of 1,000 miles (1,600 km) or even longer. The format of these events and the courses vary, ranging from single or multiple loops (some as short as a 400-metre (1,300 ft) track),[2] 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 to 35 kilometres (12 to 22 mi) 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 (known as multi-day 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 kilometres (31 mi), 100 kilometres (62 mi), 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.

IAU World Best Performances[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Record Athlete Date Place Ref
50 km Road 2:43:38  Thompson Magawana (RSA) 12 April 1988 South Africa Claremont, South Africa [3]
50 km Track 2:48:06  Jeff Norman (GBR) 7 June 1980 United Kingdom Timperley, United Kingdom [3]
100 km Road 6:13:33  Takahiro Sunada (JPN) 21 June 1998 Japan Yubetsu-Saroma-Tokoro, Japan [3]
100 km Track 6:10:20  Donald Ritchie (GBR) 28 Oct 1978 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom [3]
100 miles Road 11.46.37  Yiannis Kouros (GRE) 7/8 Nov 1984 United States Queens, New York, USA [3]
100 miles Track 11.28.03  Oleg Kharitonov (RUS) 20 Oct 2002 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom [3]
100 miles Indoor 12.56.13  Donald Ritchie (GBR) 3/4 Feb 1990 United Kingdom Milton Keynes, United Kingdom [3]
6H Road 92.188 km  Tomasz Chawawko (POL) 7 Mar 2004 Netherlands Stein, Netherland [3]
6H Track 97.200 km  Donald Ritchie (GBR) 28 Oct 1978 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom [3]
6H Indoor 93.247 km  Denis Zhalybin (RUS) 7/8 Feb 2003 Russia Moscow, Russia [3]
12H Road 162.543 km  Yiannis Kouros (GRE) 7 Nov 1984 United States New York, USA [3]
12H Track 163.600 km  Zach Bitter (USA) 14 Dec 2013 United States Phoenix, USA [3]
12H Indoor 146.296 km  Ryoichi Sekiya (JPN) 11 Feb 2007 Finland Lohja Citymarket, Finland [3]
24H Road 290.221 km  Yiannis Kouros (GRE) 2/3 May 1998 Switzerland Basel, Switzerland [3]
24H Track 303.506 km  Yiannis Kouros (GRE) 4/5 Oct 1997 Australia Adelaide, Australia [3]
24H Indoor 257.576 km  Nikolai Safin (RUS) 27/28 Feb 1993 Russia Podolsk, Russia [3]
48H Road 433.095 km  Yiannis Kouros (GRE) 2/3 May 1998 Switzerland Basel, Switzerland [3]
48H Track 473.495 km  Yiannis Kouros (GRE) 3–5 May 1996 France Surgeres, France [3]
48H Indoor 426.178 km  Tony Mangan (IRL) 16 Mar 2007 Czech Republic Brno, Czech Republic [3]

Women[edit]

Event Record Athlete Date Place Ref
50 km Road 3:08:39  Frith Van Der Merwe (RSA) 25 March 1989 South Africa Claremont, South Africa [3]
50 km Track 3:18:52  Carol Hunter-Rowe (GBR) 3 March 1996 United Kingdom Barry, Wales United Kingdom [3]
100 km Road 6:33:11  Tomoe Abe (JPN) 25 June 2000 Japan Yubetsu-Saroma-Tokoro, Japan [3]
100 km Track 7:14:06  Norimi Sakurai (JPN) 27 Sept 2003 Italy Lupatotissima, Italy [3]
100 miles Road 13.47.41  Ann Trason (USA) 4 May 1991 United States Queens New York, USA [3]
100 miles Track 14.25.45  Edit Berces (HUN) 21/22 Sept 2002 Italy Lupatoto, Italy [3]
100 miles Indoor 14.43.40  Eleanor Robinson (GBR) 3/4 Feb 1990 United Kingdom Milton Keynes, United Kingdom [3]
6H Road 82.838 km  Ricarda Botzon (GER) 7 July 2001 Germany Kiel, Germany [3]
6H Track 83.200 km  Norimi Sakurai (JPN) 27 Sept 2003 Italy Lupatoto Verone, Italy [3]
6H Indoor 80.600 km  Marina Bychkova (RUS) 7/8 Feb 2003 Russia Moscow, Russia [3]
12H Road 144.840 km  Ann Trason (USA) 4 May 1991 United States Queens New York, USA [3]
12H Track 147.600 km  Ann Trason (USA) 3/4 Aug 1991 United States Hayward, USA [3]
12H Indoor 135.799 km  Sumie Inagaki (JPN) 11 Feb 2007 Finland Lohja Citymarket, Finland [3]
24H Road 252.205 km  Mami Kudo (JPN) 11/12 May 2013 Netherlands Steenbergen, Netherlands [3]
24H Track 255.303 km  Mami Kudo(Kudou, Kudoh) (JPN) 9/10 Dec 2011 Taiwan Soochow, Taipei [3]
24H Indoor 240.631 km  Sumie Inagaki (JPN) 29/30 Jan 2011 Finland Espoo, Finland [3]
48H Road 368.687 km  Mami Kudo(Kudou, Kudoh) (JPN) 8-10 Apr 2011 Greece Athens, Greece [3]
48H Track 397.103 km  Sumie Inagaki (JPN) 21–23 May 2010 France Surgeres, France [3]
48H Indoor 390.024 km  Traci Falbo (USA) 04-06 Aug 2014 United States Anchorage, USA [3]

IAU Race Results[edit]

IAU 24-Hour Run World Challenge[edit]

Year Location Champion (m) Champion (f)
Name Distance Name Distance
2003 Netherlands Uden  Paul Beckers (BEL) 270.087 km  Irina Reutovich (ru(RUS) 237.052 km
2004 Czech Republic Brno  Ryōichi Sekiya (JPN) 269.085 km  Sumie Inagaki (JPN) 237.154 km
2005 Austria Wörschach  Anatoliy Kruglikov (RUS) 268.065 km  Lyudmila Kalinina (RUS) 242.228 km
2006 Taiwan Taipei  Ryōichi Sekiya (JPN) 272.936 km  Sumie Inagaki (JPN) 237.144 km
2007 Canada Drummondville  Ryōichi Sekiya (JPN) 263.562 km  Lyudmila Kalinina (RUS) 236.848 km
2008 South Korea Seoul  Ryōichi Sekiya (JPN) 273.366 km  Anne-Marie Vernet (fr(FRA) 239.685 km
2009 Italy Bergamo  Henrik Olsson (SWE) 257.042 km  Anne-Cécile Fontaine (FRA) 243.644 km
2010 France Brive-la-Gaillarde  Shingo Inoue (JPN) 273.708 km  Anne-Cécile Fontaine (FRA) 239.797 km
2011 cancelled[4] SwitzerlandBrugg, then TaiwanTaipei (commonly known as Taiwan)
2012 Poland Katowice [4]  Mike Morton (USA) 277.543 km  Michaela Dimitriadu (CZE) 244.232 km
2013 Netherlands Steenbergen  Jon Olsen (USA) 269.675 km  Mami Kudo (JPN) 252.205 km
2014 cancelled

IAU 100 km World Championships[edit]

Year Location Champion (m) Champion (f)
1987 Belgium Torhout  Domingo Catalán (ESP)  Agnes Eberle (SWI)
1988 Spain Santander  Domingo Catalán (ESP)  Ann Trason (USA)
1989 France Rambouillet  Bruno Scelsi (FRA)  Katherina Janicke (West Germany)
1990 United States Duluth  Roland Vuillemenot (FRA)  Eleanor Adams (GBR)
1991 Italy Faenza  Valmir Nuñes (BRA)  Eleanor Adams (GBR)
1992 Spain Palamós  Konstantin Santalov (RUS)  Nurzia Bagmanova (RUS)
1993 Belgium Torhout  Konstantin Santalov (RUS)  Carolyn Hunter-Rowe (GBR)
1994 Japan Yubetsu/Saroma/Tokoro  Aleksey Volgin (RUS)  Valentina Shatyeyeva (RUS)
1995 Netherlands Winschoten  Valmir Nuñes (BRA)  Ann Trason (USA)
1996 Russia Moscow  Konstantin Santalov (RUS)  Valentina Shatyeyeva (RUS)
1997 Netherlands Winschoten  Sergey Yanenko (UKR)  Valentina Lyakhova (RUS)
1998 Japan Shimanto  Grigoriy Murzin (RUS)  Carolyn Hunter-Rowe (GBR)
1999 France Chavagnes-en-Paillers  Simon Pride (GBR)  Anna Balosáková (SVK)
2000 Netherlands Winschoten  Pascal Fétizon (FRA)  Edit Bérces (HUN)
2001 France Cléder  Yasufumi Mikami (JPN)  Yelvira Kolpakova (RUS)
2002 Belgium Torhout  Mario Fattore (ITA)  Tatyana Zhyrkova (RUS)
2003 Taiwan Tainan  Mario Fattore (ITA)  Monica Casiraghi (ITA)
2004 Netherlands Winschoten  Mario Ardemagni (ITA)  Tatyana Zhyrkova (RUS)
2005 Japan Yubetsu/Saroma/Tokoro  Grigoriy Murzin (RUS)  Hiroko Sho (JPN)
2006 South Korea Misari  Yannick Djouadi (FRA)  Elizabeth Hawker (GBR)
2007 Netherlands Winschoten  Shinichi Watanabe (JPN)  Norimi Sakurai (JPN)
2008 Italy Rome  Giorgio Calcaterra (ITA)  Tatyana Zhirkova (RUS)
2009 Belgium Torhout  Yasukazu Miyazato (JPN)  Kami Semick (USA)
2010 Gibraltar Gibraltar  Shinji Nakadai (JPN)  Ellie Greenwood (GBR)
2011 Netherlands Winschoten  Giorgio Calcaterra (ITA)  Marina Bychkova (RUS)
2012 Italy Seregno  Giorgio Calcaterra (ITA)  Amy Sproston (USA)
2013 cancelled
2014 Doha  Max King (USA)  Ellie Greenwood (GBR)

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

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

  • Yiannis Kouros, multi-day race legend, holder of numerous world records and world bests from 24 hours to 1,000 miles, course record holder of the Spartathlon since its inception in 1983
  • Takahiro Sunada, current men's 100 km Road world record holder (6:13:33, Saroma JP, 1998)[1][5]
  • Tomoe Abe, current women's 100 km Road world record holder (6:33:11, Saroma JP, 2000)[1][5]
  • Ryōichi Sekiya, four time IAU 24-hour run World Championship winner, Asia record holder of 24-hour run (274.884 kilometres (170.805 mi)),[5] two time winner of Spartathlon [6]
  • Shingo Inoue, 2010 winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship (273.708 kilometres (170.074 mi))[5]
  • Mami Kudo, current women's 24h Track world record holder(255.303 kilometres (158.638 mi), Soochow TPE, 2011),[7] current women's 48h Road world record holder(368.687 kilometres (229.091 mi), Athens GRE, Apr 2011),[8] 2013 female winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship[9]
  • Sumie Inagaki, current women's 24h Indoor world record holder (240.631 kilometres (149.521 mi) Espoo FIN, Jan 2011),[5] current women's 48h Track world record holder(397.103 kilometres (246.748 mi), Surgeres FRA, May 2010),[5] two time female winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship, two time female winner of Spartathlon [6]
  • Norimi Sakurai, current women's 100 km Track world record holder (7:14:06, Lupatotissima ITA, Sep 2003),[5] current women's 6H Track world record holder(83.200 kilometres (51.698 mi), Lupatoto Verone ITA, Sept 2003),[5] 2007 female winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship[9]
  • Suprabha Beckjord female and Wolfgang Schwerk male record holder 3100 mile Race [10]
  • Edit Berces, 24 hour treadmill world record holder; holds several Hungarian records
  • Ted Corbitt, "father of American ultrarunning"; 1952 US Olympic team member; former American world record holder at various distances
  • Bruce Fordyce, nine time Comrades Marathon winner; African 100K record holder (6:25:07)
  • Serge Girard, trans-USA (4,597 km – 1997), trans-South America (5,235 km – 2001), trans-Africa (8,295 km – 2003/2004) and trans-Eurasia (19,097 km – 2005/2006) record holder
  • Wally Hayward, Multiple winner of Comrades Marathon, London to Brighton, many other ultramarathons; set early world records
  • Bernd Heinrich, US 100 mile track record holder (12:27:01), naturalist
  • Shaul Ladany, Israeli racewalker, world record holder in the 50-mile walk, former world champion in the 100-kilometer walk[11][12]
  • Frith van der Merwe, set Comrades Marathon records for both directions
  • Stu Mittleman, US record holder for six-day race (578 miles)
  • Arthur F. H. Newton, 5 times Comrades Marathon winner
  • Ann Trason, thirteen time Western States Endurance Run winner and former female course record holder; holds numerous world records, including 100 mile (13:47:41 1991), 50 mile (5:40:18, 1991), and 12 Hours (147.6k, 1991); American 100k record holder (7:00:48)
  • Cliff Young, former winner Westfield Sydney to Melbourne; holds numerous world age records
  • Arun Bhardwaj, first Indian to compete in and win the George Archer 6 day race in South Africa, completed a 4,000+ km run from Kargil, India to Kanyakumari, India, in 61 days.
  • Connie Gardner, American Record Holder in the 24 hour event (149.368 miles (240.384 km))
  • Robert Garside, first person recognized as running around the world by Guinness World Records; although his run has been challenged by some ultra distance runners and some members of the press, Guinness World Records, who spent around five years evaluating evidence, declared it authentic in 2007.[13][14]

Ultra Marathons by Regions[edit]

Ultra Marathons are run around the world with more than 70,000 people completing them every year.[citation needed]

Africa[edit]

Several ultra distance events are held in Africa.

  • South Africa hosts a number of notable ultra marathon events.
    • On paved surface: the world's oldest and largest ultramarathon, the 87 kilometres (54 mi) Comrades Marathon. Approximately 12,000 runners complete the Comrades each year, out of approximately 17000 who start, with 23,961 competing in 2000.[15]
    • The 56-kilometre (35 mi) Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town in the southern autumn attracts approximately 11,000 runners.
    • The Washie 100 road race is the oldest one hundred miler road race in Africa.
    • Off road: The Salomon Sky Run is a grueling 100 kilometres (62 mi) self supported, unmarked trail race held in a particularly scenic part of the country.
  • The Marathon des Sables is a 6 day stage race which covers 250 kilometres (160 mi) through the Sahara desert in Morocco. The Sahara Race in Egypt, part of the 4 Deserts series, is held annually with about 150 competitors from 30 countries competing. There is also an ultramarathon of 250 kilometres (160 mi) across the Namib Desert.
  • The Grand Raid de la Réunion is held annually on Réunion in October, crossing the island over 163 kilometres (101 mi) with an altitude gain of 9,643 metres (31,637 ft). This race attracts 2,350 competitors, with 1,000 runners from overseas.

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).[16] Japan hosts more than 50 ultramarathon events throughout the year,[17] among which are Trans Japan Alps Race (TJAR) (415 kilometres (258 mi) with more than 26,000 metres (16 mi) cumulative altitude gain crossing Japan Alps, crossing Japan's mainland from Japan Sea to Pacific Ocean in 7 days),[18][19] Hasetsune cup (71.5 kilometres (44.4 mi) in steep foggy mountains)[20] and Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji (UTMF) (161 kilometres (100 mi) loop around World Heritage Mt. Fuji with cumulative altitude gain of about 9,000 metres (5.6 mi)).[21][22]
  • South Korea's first ultramarathon was held in 2000.
  • The Gobi March was China's first ultramarathon, first staged in 2003, it is now in its twelfth year. The Gobi March is part of the 4 Deserts Race Series.url=http://www.gobimarch.com
  • India's first ultra marathon was held in 2007, in Bangalore.[23][24] Since 2010, Indian Himalayas have hosted LA ULTRA – The High, crossing Khardung La, the world's highest motorable mountain pass.[25]
  • Soochow International 24H Ultra-Marathon is held since 1999 in Taipei, and is an official IAU-registered event. The Gobi March,[26] first held in 2003, in northwest China was one of China's first ultramarathons.
  • 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.[27]
  • Nepal hosts several ultramarathon races,[28] including the Annapurna 100, the Kanchenjunga Ultra Marathon Trail Running Race[citation needed] and the Everest Ultra.[29]
  • Northern Mongolia hosts an annual 100 km summer race, Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset.[30]
  • 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 qualifying point 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 race under 35-39 degree Celsius morning and afternoon heat with a 60% finish rate amongst runners.[31] First 100 miles ultra marathon road race, Putrajaya 100 Miles, schedule on 22–23 November 2014.
  • 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.[32]

Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand[edit]

Australia and New Zealand are host to some 100 organized ultramarathons each year. Additionally a handful of runners have run the entire length of New Zealand, a distance of around 2,200 kilometres (1,400 mi).[33]

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 epic battles 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 1,036.851 kilometres (644.269 mi). The Coast to Kosciuszko inaugurated in 2004, is a 246-kilometre (153 mi) marathon from the coast to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mountain.

New Zealand's first ultramarathon was held on a 100 km (62 mi) track. The Kepler Challenge, 60 kilometres (37 mi) through Fiordland National Park, has been running since 1988 and is one of the country's most popular races. New Zealand's Northburn 100 ultra mountain run [2] is the first 100 mile (160 km) race through the Northburn Station.

In November 2012, Kim Allan planned to run and/or walk 500 kilometres (310 mi) 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 300 miles (480 km).[34] According to her Facebook page, she only managed 385.8 kilometres (239.7 mi).[35] She eventually passed the 500 kilometre mark at 86 hours, 11 minutes, and 9 seconds, breaking the 486 kilometres (302 mi) women's record.[36]

In April 2013, a Feilding man, Perry Newburn, set a new New Zealand record by running 483 kilometres (300 mi) without sleep at Feilding's Manfield Park.[37]

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.[38]

Papua New Guinea also has the The Great Kokoda Race, a multi-stage 96km (3 day) adventure race held in early July where competitors run or walk the length of the historic Kokoda Track.[39]

Europe[edit]

Ultrarunning is popular in Europe, and the sport can trace its origins here with early documentation of ultrarunners from Icelandic sagas, or even 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. Some of the largest events include:

  • The Tor des Géants – a 330 km loop (including 24000 m total elevation gain) of the Aosta Valley in max 150 hours. The path follows the Alta Via 2 and Alta Via 1 footpaths of the Aosta Valley in Italy (these foothpaths are normally divided in resp. 14 and 17 daily stages).
  • The JOGLE Ultra – 1375 km (860 miles) over 16 days from John o'Groats to Lands End, Scotland/Wales/England – UK
  • The Swiss Alpine Marathon 78 km, from Davos, Switzerland.
  • The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc which consists of a 168 km loop around Mont Blanc including 9600 m total elevation gain.[40]
  • The Magredi Mountain Trail 100 mi loop through the southern Italian Dolomites which includes over 9,000 m of total elevation gain. The race starts and finishes in Vivaro, Italy.
  • The 100 km del Passatore Florence – Faenza Italy
  • The Strasimeno ultramarathon, Castiglione del Lago Italy
  • The Bucegi 7500 Marathon, with its first edition in 2009, is the toughest competition in Romania. Held annually in Bucegi Mountains of the Southern Carpathians, the race stretches for 90 km over harsh terrain, comprising a total 7500 meters elevation gain.
  • The Biel running days, Switzerland.
  • Sudecka Setka – 100 km in the Polish Sudetes.
  • The 72.7 km Rennsteiglauf in the Thuringian Forest, Germany.
  • The 230 km Al Andalus Ultimate Trail is a stage race over five days in the July sun and heat of the Granada province, Andalucia, Spain.
  • The Ultima Frontera Trail Race is an ultra festival including 55 km, 83 km and 166 km in the Andalusian mountains, Granada province, Andalucia, Spain.
  • The Lakeland 100 (UTLD) which has a circular route encompassing much of the Lakeland fell area, including in the region of 6300m of ascent and consisting entirely of public bridleways and footpaths.
  • The ULTRArace.100 which has a circular route of 100 miles of road in The Cotswold Hills with an overall ascent of 2248m.
  • 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. As of 2008[41] has been recaptured as a trail run.[3]
  • Day Runners – Athens International Ultramarathon Festival (24h, 48h, 72h, 6days, 1000k, 1000m)
  • The Rodopi Ultra Trail is the first 100 mile trail race in Greece and wanders the vast forests of the Rodopi mountain range, one of the biggest ranges of the Balkan peninsula.
  • Velebit 100 – Velebit, Croatia.
  • Transvulcania - La Palma, Spain
  • Lapland Ultra – Adak, Lapland, Sweden. 100 km loop in the land of the midnight sun.
  • 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 annual multiday Deutschlandlauf (Germany Run) over 1200 km.
  • In Portugal, the "Ultramaratona das Areias" race covers 43 kilometres on the sand of southern beaches under the blazing sun of summer.
  • The Madeira Island Ultra Trail is a challenge of 115 km over the mountainous terrain of Madeira Island.
  • In southern Spain, the "La Legión 101 km en 24 Horas" is a popular ultramarathon in and around the Andalucian town of Ronda in the province of Malaga. The race in May is organized and supported by the Spanish Foreign Legion.
  • In Greece, Spartathlon is held every last weekend of September since 1983. It's a non-stop historic ultra-distance foot race covering 246 km from Athens to Sparta in less than 36 hours. It's considered[by whom?] one of the most difficult ultramarathon races due to the weather conditions encountered by the runners (heat and humidity during the day and cold during the night hours) and the non-stop profile of the race. Only 1/3 of the runners reach Sparta.

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.[42] Ultramarathons in Antarctica include: The Last Desert, 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 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, 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 Amsterdam[citation needed]; however, nothing came of these efforts.

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 3,100 miles (5,000 km).[10]

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.

South America[edit]

There are few ultramarathons in South America, but the sport is getting more popular every day. 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".[43] Several ultramarathons are held in Chile and the activity is becoming more popular among Chileans.[44] Ultramarathons held in Chile include:

  • 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, a 250 km (155 mile) ultramarathon which takes place in the Atacama desert, around San Pedro de Atacama, Chile[45] 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, which, as the name suggests, is a desert race series.[46] The Atacama Crossing take place in terrain that is rarely flat underfoot, 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.

View from the Atacama Crossing 2011.
  • The Patagonian International Marathon, take 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.[47]

The event, organized by NIGSA, aims to promote the conservation of Chilean Patagonia and contribute to the sustainable development of the region. For each runner, a tree will be planted in the Torres del Paine National Park through the “Corre y Reforesta” (Run and Reforest) campaign[48] run by the organization “Reforestemos Patagonia” (Let’s Reforest Patagonia)[49] which aims to raise awareness of the importance of preserving these areas and contribute to the reforestation of native trees in Chilean Patagonia.

List of ultramarathons[edit]

This is only a partial list of events. For a full list, see Ultramarathon Running's Calendar and local countries' ultrarunning websites.

Road and dirt paths[edit]

Location Name
 Canada Deer Lake 67
 Philippines All Women Ultra Marathon
 Philippines Bataan Death March Ultra marathon
 Germany Berlin 100 Miles
 Switzerland Biel/Bienne 100 km
 South Africa Washie 100
 South Africa Comrades Marathon
 Singapore Craze Ultra (100 Mile/50 Mile/25 Mile) - Are You Nuts Enough?
 United Kingdom Dartmoor Discovery
 United States FANS 6, 12, 24 Hour Races Fort Snelling State Park / Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN
 United Kingdom Grand Union Canal 145 mile Race
 United States Graveyard 100
 Canada Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra
 United States JFK 50 Mile
 United States Keys 100
 Japan Lake Saroma Ultramarathon 100 km / 50 km [51]
 United Kingdom London to Brighton
 United Kingdom Marlborough Downs Challenge
 Japan Miyakojima Ultra Marathon 100 km etc.
 Italy 100km del Passatore
 Japan River Shimanto Ultramarathon 100 km / 60 km[52]
 Netherlands RUN Winschoten, Netherlands
 Italy Strasimeno
 Greece Spartathlon
 Singapore Sundown Ultra Marathon Singapore 100 km
 India The Taj Mahal Marathon 222k Ultra
 South Africa Two Oceans Marathon
 United States TW 50k Ultra
 Japan Trans Okinawa Foot Race 353 km/292 km
 Brazil 100km Volta ao Lago Caixa (website in Portuguese)
 Lithuania Ultramarathon Baltic cup 100 km
 United States Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer
 India Bangalore Ultra
 Malaysia Putrajaya 100 Miles, Watergate 16 Hours

Track Ultramarathons[edit]

Location Name
 United Kingdom Barry 40
 Canada Self-Transcendence 24 Hour Race Ottawa

Mountain and trails[edit]

 Turkey|| TNF Cappadocia Ultramarathon

Location Name
 South Africa Addo Elephant Trail Run
   Nepal Annapurna 100
 United States American River 50 Mile Endurance Run
 United States Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run
 Canada Arc'teryx Squamish 50
 United States Barkley Marathons
 United States Bear 100 Mile Endurance Run
 United States Bighorn Trail Run
 United States Bull Run Run 50 Mile
 United States Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run
 Canada Canadian Death Race
 United States Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run
 United States Chimera 100 Mile
 United States Elizabeth's Furnace Fat Ass 50K
 United States Evergreen Trail Runs
 Nicaragua Fuego y Agua 25k,50k,100K & Survival Run
 United States Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon
 Réunion Grand Raid de la Réunion
 United States Grindstone 100 Miler
 United States Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run
 Japan Hasetsune Cup 71.5 km
 United States HAT Run
 Japan Hida Takayama Ultra Marathon
 United States HUFF 50K Trail Run
 United States Hunter Gatherer Ultras & Survival Run
 United States Jackson County 50-50
 United States Javelina Jundred[dead link]
 United States Kesugi Ridge Traverse
 United States Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Runs
 Papua New Guinea Kokoda Challenge Race
 Canada Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run
 Iceland Laugavegur Ultramarathon
 United States Leadville Trail 100
 United States Lean Horse Ultramarathon
 United States Massanutten Mountain Trails 100
 United Kingdom Mourneway Ultra Marathon
 United States McNaughton Park Trail Runs
 United States Miwok 100K Trail Race
 United States The Mountain Ultra[dead link]
 United States Mountain Masochist Trail Run
 Japan Muraoka Ultra Marathon 100 km/88 km/44 km
 United Kingdom North Downs way 50,100
 Australia North Face 100
 United States Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs - 50K, 50 & 100 miles
 United States Old Dominion 100 Miler
 United States Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run
 Hong Kong Oxfam Trailwalker
 Australia
 United States Pillar Mountain Run, Kodiak, AK
 United States Pinhoti 100 Mile Endurance Run Alabama
 United States Quad Dipsea
 Germany Rennsteiglauf
 United States Resurrection Pass Ultra Trail Races
 United States Rio Del Lago
 Japan Shin'etsu Five Mountains Trail 110km
 United Kingdom South Downs way 100
 Canada Scorched Sole
 Canada Sinister 7 100 mile
 United States StumpJump 50k
 Switzerland Swiss Alpine Marathon
 United Kingdom Thames Path 100km
 Japan Trans Japan Alps Race (TJAR) 415 km
 United States TransRockies Run, 6 stages, 125m
 Japan Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji 168 km / 88 km
 France Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc
 Italy
 Switzerland
 United States Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run
 United States Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run
 United Kingdom West Highland Way Race
 United States Western States Endurance Run
 United States Wickham Park Marathon, 50M, 100M, 200M
 Malaysia Borneo TMBT Ultra Trail Marathon 50K, 100K
 Turkey İznik Ultramarathon
 Turkey Lycian Way Ultramarathon
 Japan Yatsugatake (Mount Yatsuga) Nobeyama Highland 100km Ultra Marathon

Extreme conditions[edit]

Location Name
 Italy Tor des Geants
 Morocco Marathon des Sables
 Brazil Jungle Marathon
 Canada 6633 Ultra: The Arctic, Canada
 United States Badwater Ultramarathon
 South Africa Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon
 United States Arrowhead Winter Ultramarathon
 Spain Al Andalus Ultimate Trail
 United States Beast of Burden Winter and Summer 100 Miler "DoubleBuckle"
 New Zealand Northburn100
 Finland Rovaniemi 150 Arctic Winter Race
 Finland The Lapland Extreme Challenge Race, 900 kilometers (15 days)
 Turkey Runfire Cappadocia Ultramarathon
 Antarctica The Last Desert
 China 4 Deserts
 Egypt
 Chile
 Antarctica

Very long events and multidays[edit]

Location Name Description
 Canada Bruce Trail Ontario, Canada 800 kilometers in (10–15 days).
 United States The Bunion Derby Los Angeles to New York 3,455 miles (3 months).
 Hungary Lake Balaton Supermarathon [dead link] (4 days)
 United States Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race
 United States Self-Transcendence 6- & 10-day Race
 Japan Trans Japan Alps Race (TJAR) 415 km/7–8 days
 Germany Spreelauf
 Europe Trans Europe Foot Race
 France Paris-Colmar 450 km march (Racewalking).
 France Trans-Gaule
 Chile Atacama Crossing
 China Gobi March
 Egypt Sahara Race

Born to Run[edit]

In 2009, Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run was released. Written from both anthropological and scientific angles, this book is a story of an entire people of ultramarathoners. While other books had previously been written specifically about ultramarathons, McDougall made conclusions about humanity's roots in long distance running that were just controversial enough to excite the masses who had never heard of the sport. It quickly became a national bestseller and a Forbes and Washington Post book of the year, helping spread the idea of ultramarathons.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "– 100 Kilometres Records". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  2. ^ If the loop is less than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi), run direction changes every 2–4 (sometimes 6) hours
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al "IAU World Best Performances" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  4. ^ a b Final Update on the 24 Hour World Championships 2011
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/images/file/World_Best_Performances_FEB_13_.pdf
  6. ^ a b http://www.spartathlon.gr/en/results/finishers.html
  7. ^ http://24hourrace.com/kudo-sekiya-return-soochow-international-24-hour-race-2013/
  8. ^ http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/images/file/World_Best_Performances_FEB_13_.pdf 2013
  9. ^ a b http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/index.asp?menucode=h06-03&tmp=tmp3&taal=nl&submenux=Statistics&foto=photo7
  10. ^ a b "srichinmoyraces.org / About the 3100 Mile Race". Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  11. ^ "Shaul Ladany Bio, Stats, and Results | Olympics at". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Shaul Ladany". Jewishsports.net. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ Guinness press release, as linked from Garside's website: "Although Robert’s record attempt finished in 2003, it has taken 5 years to collate and confirm the record evidence [...] We are very cautious to accept records like this because they are difficult to certify, however Robert has provided us with full evidence which enabled us to authenticate his amazing achievement. We initially evaluated 15 boxes full of credit card statements, receipts in Robert’s name and other useful evidence, which supported Robert’s presence in all of the 29 countries within the time specified. We then moved on to establish whether Robert had actually been running and started to look through an astronomical number of pictures and newspaper cuttings from different parts of Robert’s route. We also reviewed over 300 time-coded tapes featuring Robert running at different locations during his journey. We could finally double check the route followed through statements from several witnesses, and passports stamps and visas..."
  14. ^ "The first fully authenticated run around the world record has just been accepted". Guinness World records. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  15. ^ http://raceday.comrades.com/home-about/history-of-comrades
  16. ^ http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/images/file/IAU%20100km%20World%20Cup%20Results%201987%20to%202008.pdf
  17. ^ http://marathons.ahotu.com/calendar/ultramarathon/japan
  18. ^ NHK team, 激走! 日本アルプス大縦断 密着、トランスジャパンアルプスレース富山~静岡415km, 26 Apr 2013, ISBN 978-4087815276
  19. ^ http://www.dreamnews.jp/press/0000072853/
  20. ^ RUNTRAIL editors, RUN+TRAIL vol.2 トレイルランレースをはじめよう ハセツネ/UTMF完走法 (SAN-EI MOOK),22 Aug 2012, ISBN 978-4779615627
  21. ^ http://www.irunfar.com/2013/04/2013-ultra-trail-mount-fuji-preview.html
  22. ^ http://info.japantimes.co.jp/works/ultra-trail-mount-fuji.html#.UxBgnfKYbIU
  23. ^ "The Bangalore Ultra". The Bangalore Ultra. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Big response for the Bangalore Marathon". The Hindu. December 14, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Why La Ultra The High is the Cruelest Marathon". Forbes India. February 18, 2013. 
  26. ^ "The Gobi March". 4 Deserts Official Website. 
  27. ^ "Sundown Marathon". HiVelocity. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Nepal events". Trail Running Nepal. 
  29. ^ "Everest Ultra". Everest Ultra. 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  30. ^ "Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset". Ms2s.org. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  31. ^ "Sabah Adventure Races". Sabahadventurechallenge.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  32. ^ "All Womens Ultra Marathon". 
  33. ^ http://www.endurancesport.co.nz/feature.cfm?id=104 The most recent runner's being Lisa Tamati and Andrew Hedgman who both completed the challenge separately in 2009 and 2010
  34. ^ Satherley, Dan (7 November 2012). "Two feet, 500km and no sleep for charity". 3 News NZ. 
  35. ^ [1][dead link]
  36. ^ Ultra-distance runner breaks record
  37. ^ "Feilding father breaks NZ running record". 3 News NZ. April 5, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Kokoda Challenge". Kokoda Trekking. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  39. ^ "The Great Kokoda Race". Twisted Explorer. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  40. ^ Official Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc Web Site: UTMB – Profile and details
  41. ^ London to Brighton 2008 Results – available as a Google cache
  42. ^ "Antarctic Ice Marathon 2013". Icemarathon.com. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  43. ^ The official web site retrieved January 13, 2014
  44. ^ Ultramarathoner In Living Atlas Chile livingatlaschile.com January 3, 2014, retrieved January 13, 2014
  45. ^ The Atacama Crossing Race 29 januari 2013, Pieter at www.extrememarathonguide.com/ retrieved January 13, 2014
  46. ^ The Atacama Crossing Official web site retrieved January 2014
  47. ^ Patagonian International Marathon Official website {en} patagonianinternationalmarathon.com retrieved January 13, 2014
  48. ^ Corre y reforesta la Patagonia chilena con la maratón de Torres del Paine Magdalena Araus Eldefinido.cl August 28, 2013
  49. ^ {en} Reforestemos Patagonia Tree Count reforestemospatagonia.clretrieved January 13, 2014
  50. ^ The Rapa Nui GrandTrail www.active.com retrieved January 13, 2014
  51. ^ http://saromanblue.jp/
  52. ^ http://www.city.shimanto.lg.jp/kyouiku/sport/marathon.html

External links[edit]

Archives ultamarathon : http://www.ultramarathon.fr/