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Marc Scott leads Antrim Coast HM 2021

Remarkable 24 hours for world records

Records tumble in Poland and Northern Ireland

One of the oldest world records on the books has been broken, along with one of the most recent – on the same day! 

Competing in Pabianice, Poland at the UltraPark 24-Hour race, Aleksandr Sorokin from Lithuania destroyed Yiannis Kouros' legendary 24-hour world record to cover 309.400km (192.252 miles) on a road course on 28-29 August.

Despite the ultra-running fraternity considering Kouros' record to be practically unbeatable – and that was the case for almost 24 years – Sorokin completed just over 179 laps of the 1.72552km loop course to add almost six kilometres to the previous best performance.

Kouros, of Greece, ran 303.506km (188.590 miles) on the track in Adelaide in October 1997 and 290.221km (180.335 miles) on the road in Basel in 1998 to set the most impressive ultra-distance running records ever seen – until last weekend's exploits in Poland.

Aleksandr Sorokin came to our attention earlier this year at runABC when he set world records for 100 miles (11:14:56) and 12 hours (170.309km) at the Centurion Running Track 100-Mile race at Ashford, Kent. 

Meanwhile, the women's half marathon world record also fell on Sunday (29 August). Despite windy conditions in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon the 22-year-old Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw burst through the 64-minute barrier to clock 1:03:43 – 19 seconds faster than Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich (1:04:02) ran in Istanbul in April this year.

Yehualaw had finished second in the previous world record race (1:04:40) as an understudy to the more experienced Chepngetich. The victory and world record, passing 5K in 15:05 and 10K in 30:22, was even sweeter as she was fourth in the Ethiopian Olympic 10,000m trials and failed to make the Tokyo Olympics.

Speaking to the BBC live stream, Yehualaw said: “This was a dream come true for me. I have tried twice before to break the world record but it didn’t happen, but I’m so happy it happened today in Larne.”

The Antrim Coast Half Marathon produced a host of fast times and the best British results were third for Rose Harvey (Clapham Chasers, 1:10:29 PB) and fourth by Marc Scott (Richmond & Zetland, 1:00:35 PB) – only five seconds behind the winner Jemal Yimer (Ethiopia, 1:00:30) in a thrilling men's race.

Image of Marc Scott in the lead group courtesy Antrim Coast Half Marathon on Facebook

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