Athens 1000 mile race – summary at 275hrs
A quick summary and comments on the race at 275hrs / 11 days, 11 hrs
1st #19 Schwerk Wolfgang – GER 1535 km 954 miles
With only 46 miles left to cover to reach the 1000 mile mark, Wolfgang Schwerk looks almost certain to finish within the next 24hrs, barring a major mishap. Wolfgang has produced an incredible performance throughout the race and looks to have a very good finishing time coming up shortly.
2nd #18 Sichel William – UK 1337 km 830.5 miles
3rd #8 Bazzana Lucio – ITA 1330 km 826.5 miles
There is a hard fought battle for 2nd position taking place at present between William and Italian runner Lucio Bazzana. As of the latest results, Lucio has cut William’s lead to only 7km / 4.34 miles. It is very difficult to judge this accurately however, as the Championchip results don’t contain data on when the runners are taking rest breaks, so in “real terms” the gap could be either closer or further apart than the current figures suggest. This will be a tough time for both William and Lucio, physically and mentally, and it is possible that William may have to choose whether to prioritise getting a 2nd place position by going head-to-head with Lucio, or whether to disregard race position and simple concentrate on breaking the M55 1000 mile world record. Either option (and they are not mutually exclusive) will require an iron will and a refusal to let the body weaken as the hours go by. While William will certainly be intending to retain 2nd place, I feel sure that his main goal will be a new M55 World Record. One of the big questions is – can he manage both?
4th #16 Dvoracek Vlastimil – CZE 1251 km 777.5 miles
5th #7 Lo Wei Ming – TPE 1240 km 770.5 miles
There is another battle taking place for 4th position between Vlastimil Dvoracek and Lo Wei Ming. Vlastimil Dvoracek has eased ahead of Lo Wei Ming and currently leads by 11km / 6.83 miles – but again, the championchip data dos not record rest breaks so this could be a little misleading and with more than 200 miles to go for these runners, a lot could change in the next couple of days…
Women’s #1 – 6th #10 Hausmann Martina – GER 1219 km / 757.5 miles1
Women’s #2 – 7th #6 Okiyama Hiroko – JPN 1205 km / 748.5 miles
Women’s #3 – 8th #9 Tahkavuori Maria – FIN 1177 km / 731.5 miles
The Women’s race could hardly be closer, with the 3 female athletes holding 6th, 7th and 8th places overall and hardly any distance between the runners. Martina Hausmann currently leads Women’s #2 Hiroko Okiyama by 14km / 8.69 miles and #3 Maria Tahkavuori by 42 km / 26.09 miles (about a marathon in distance). The gap between Hiroko in #2 and Maria in #3 is only 28km / 17.39 miles. With around 250 miles to go for the three women, it really is anyone’s race…
9th 14 Istvan Sipos – HUN 1068 km 663.5 miles
10th 13 Thanos Nikos – GRE 1057 km 656.5 miles
11th 12 Nomikos Nikitas – GRE 1050 km 652.5 miles
12th 1 Sherrington Abichal – UK 992 km 616.5 miles
There is relatively little distance between the final four men, only 50 miles separating 9th placed Sipos Istvan and 12th placed Abichal Watkins (Sherrington) from Wales. Abichal looks to be about to reach the 1000 km mark. At around 11 and a half days into a race with a maximum of 16 days duration, these four runners will simply be hoping to achieve the maximum distance possible within the time. One or more of them reaching the 1000 mile mark isn’t actually impossible, but it would be a herculean effort and looks rather unlikely at this point – but I am certain that everyone’s hats are off to every competitor in this race, regardless of whatever position they may achieve at the finish. Many a seasoned ultra-runner wouldn’t even consider entering a 1000 mile race, and getting to over 600 miles before day 12 is no mean achievement for anyone.
It looks like a very exiting race from this point on – so watch this space!