Distance running legend Aleksandr Sorokin has shattered his own world record by running a whopping 319 kilometres — in one day.
The Lithuanian ultra marathoner stunned the running world at the IAU 24-hour European championships earlier this week when he covered 319.614km in 24 hours — more than the equivalent distance of going from Sydney to Canberra.
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Sorokin first took the record last year when he ran 309.4km in a day to better a mark (303.506km) many had claimed was “unbreakable”, set by Greek ultrarunning legend Yiannis Kouros back in 1997.
This time Sorokin blew his own record away in Verona, Italy, adding on 10km more than he’d previously managed in the 24-hour period.
Staggeringly, the 40-year-old averaged a pace of 4:30 per kilometre. That’s a very good pace for the average runner over short distances. Sorokin did it non-stop, for 24 hours.
“I’m very tired, however I’m double excited,” the 40-year-old wrote in a post on Instagram. “Very, very thankful for your support, I really felt it.”
Second place in the event went to Poland’s Andrzej Piotrowski (301.858km) while Italy’s Marco Visiniti finished third (288.437km).
Sorikin has broken many records in his ascent to become the world’s top 24-hour runner.
Incredibly, he didn’t start running until he was 32 when he felt it was time to change his lifestyle.
“I began running to get in shape when I weighed 100kg. At the time I wasn’t playing any sports, just drinking and smoking a lot,” he told Running Magazine.
“Then I just began running … The thing about running is you can do more than you think you are capable of.”
He fuels his runs with water, sports drinks and Coke, and consumes around 400 calories per hour with everything from gels to chips and lollies.
And the one thing Sorokin says is inescapable for all his achievements — pain.
“There’s only one word to describe the last hours of a race: torture,” he told the New York Times earlier this year.
“Time feels like it goes slower. The laps feel like they get longer.”