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!