Lithuanian athlete – Aleksandr “Sania” Sorokin – has inked a fresh entry within the annals of endurance history after breaking the 24-hour running world record established by renowned ultrarunner, Yiannis Kouros.
In 1997, the Greek talent set the standard by accomplishing a legendary 188.52 miles / 303.4 kilometres in 24 hours (sustained pace: 12.64 km/h). On August 30th of this year, Sorokin rocked up to the UltraPark Weekend 24-hour race in Poland to officially clock an even more impressive 192.25 miles / 309.4 kilometres (sustained pace: 12.89 km/h).
“[The world record] was my dream for about five years,” Sania Sorokin tells Runner’s World.
“It was an almost perfect race, but I know I can do better.”
“The conditions, the weather, the track, the organisation… everything was perfect.”
“There was some crisis at night with my stomach. It stopped working well for a few hours, but then began to work again, and I really didn’t know if the record was to be or not to be until 21 hours of running.”
According to Runner’s World, Sorokin had lost his job as a casino dealer back in January due to the ongoing pandemic. The silver lining, of course, was that it freed the 39-year-old up to “train like a pro.”
In preparation for his world record attempt, he reportedly increased his mileage for this training block, with an average week entailing anything from 142 miles / 228.53 kilometres all the way up to 173 miles / 278.42 kilometres. The following were also components of his regime:
- speed work
Despite being unsponsored, Sania Sorokin has managed to turn all the right heads and secure global attention with his actions alone. In addition to being the current titleholder for longest distance run across a single day, he’s also got three 24-hour world championships since 2015 under his belt, won the 2017 Spartathlon ultra, as well as shattering the 100-mile and 12-hor world records in April this year. For the time being, however, after going the distance (so to speak), the focus will be a little more commercial.
“I need to find a sponsorship for next year because soon I need to be back to work,” adds Aleksandr “Sania” Sorokin.
“I am in peak form, so I feel like I can still do better. I don’t exactly know what’s next for me. Maybe the 48-hour record.”
For context, the 48-hour record involves 294.21 miles / 473.49 kilometres across two days. Incidentally, that achievement was also set by Yiannis Kouros.