Published: 10:00, 28 April 2021
| Updated: 12:09, 28 April 2021
A new 100-mile world record has been set at the Julie Rose Stadium.
Lithuania’s Aleksandr Sorokin set a new world best time of 11hrs 14.56mins at the Ashford stadium - beating the previous record of 11.19 set by Zach Bitter in 2019.
Sorokin didn’t stop there either, completing a 12-hour run for good measure, to set a second world record for distance covered (105.825 miles).
His record run last Saturday came 200 years after Edward Rayner had previously set a world record in Ashford, in 1824, then with a time of 17.52 for the distance.
Other records fell in Kent during the ultra-running event, with Samantha Amend clocking 14.34.05 to set a British record.
The Centurion Running event is open to elite runners.
Their aim is to “provide the optimal conditions for a small number of athletes to shoot for 100 mile records at World, National and Age Group level.”
For 2021, they had 25 applications. Covid restrictions made it difficult to attract foreign runners, with Casino-worker Sorokin, from Vilnius, quarantining in the UK with only a treadmill for company.
The 2019 IAU world 24-hour champion only got to leave quarantine and go outside on the Thursday before the race, the first time he had been outside in over a week.
The race started at 6am with athletes finding their pace around the track in the first few hours.
Sorokin reached the 50-mile mark in 5.32.01, setting a new Lithuanian national record, putting him eight minutes ahead of Bitter’s record on the split time. Commentary from the centurionrunning.com website said: “As we tick up to 9 and 10 hours elapsed, it becomes clear that we are likely to be witnessing the greatest 100 mile performance of all time (if) Aleksandr doesn’t drop off his pace by more than a second per lap.”
He continued at a good pace to break the record, averaging 6.45 per mile.