World bronze medallist Robbie Britton reports on an event which saw the best-ever performance by a British team at a 24 hour championships
William Sichel completes 3100-mile raceAugust 5, 2014
Scottish ultra-runner finishes Self-Transcendence 3100-mile race in New York in 50 days, 15 hours, six minutes and four seconds
William Sichel has completed the Self-Transcendence 3100-mile race in New York, the 60-year-old Scottish ultra-runner crossing the finishing line after 50 days, 15 hours, six minutes and four seconds.
The Orkney man, who averaged at around 60 miles per day in order to beat the 52-day cut-off, is the first British runner and the oldest athlete to have finished the race within the official time limit and has set a string of Scottish national and age group records along the way, including the longest distance run by a Scot in a competitive race. Such is the achievement, Sichel actually broke that record before even reaching halfway, surpassing the 1300 miles by Al Howie of Aryshire in a race which was the predecessor of the 3100-mile event.
All the while that Scottish athletes were competing in front of home crowds at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and from a month and a half before that too, Sichel was running the 5648 laps that make up the world’s longest certified running race, held on an extended suburban city block in Jamaica, Queens.
The race, which began on June 15, was won by Sarvagata Ukrainskyi from Ukraine in 44 days, six hours, 58 minutes 10 seconds, while the first woman finisher was Australia’s Sarah Barnett in approximately 50 days, three hours, 55 minutes and eight seconds.
Sichel is one of Britain’s most prolific ultra-runners. Specialising in multi-day events, some of his highlights have been winning the Across the Years 24-Hour in Phoenix, Arizon, in 2005; setting Guinness world records on a treadmill for 100 miles and 24 hours; finishing first in the Basel 24 Hours and taking European 100km bronze.
» Results can be found here