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Jim Walmsley and Camille Herron will be among a handful of ultrarunners attempting to break the 100km world record on Saturday, January 23. The event, organised by Hoka to coincide with the launch of its Carbon X 2 shoe, is being held in Phoenix, Arizona, and Tokyo, Japan.
Walmsley and Herron – holders of the male and female records over 50 miles, respectively – will take part in the Phoenix event, to be held around a specially designed 11km track.
The current male and female 100km (62.1 miles) world records are held by Japanese athletes. Nao Kazami set the male record of 6hrs 9mins 14secs in 2018, while compatriot Tomoe Abe set the female record of 6hrs 33mins and 11secs way back in 2000.
With the advent of carbon-plated running shoes, distance-running records have tumbled over the past two years. Hoka will be hoping its latest super-shoe, the Carbon X 2, can propel its athletes to do the same. The running brand has form in this area, with Walmsley having broken the 50-mile world record in the shoe’s predecessor, the Carbon X.
There’s also some British interest at the event, with LEJOG record-holder Carla Molinaro competing in Phoenix. Although she’s not pushing for the world record, she does have her sights firmly set on the British record of 7hrs 27mins 19secs, set by Caroline Hunter-Rowe in 1993. Asked about her racing tactic for the event, Molinaro told the Runner’s World podcast, ‘I know it’s going to hurt. So I’m just going to hang on and hope I don’t die!’
You can watch Molinaro’s progress, alongside that of Walmsley and Herron, at hokaoneone.com, where the US event will be live-streamed, starting at 2pm (UK time).
In accordance with Covid-19 safety guidelines, Hoka says ‘all athletes and event personnel will follow rigorous pre-event testing and on-site safety protocols to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in Project Carbon X 2, as well as the health and safety of the host community.’
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