Helsinki – 119 runners to start the race…
At the time of the last update from the race organisers (2.47pm Finnish time on Jan 28th) there are 119 entrants in the 24hr race.
Of these, 63 runners are Finnish “locals” and the other 56 are drawn from the rest of the world (with a fair number coming from other Scandinavian countries).
There are 21 Female entrants and (for those of you who can’t be bothered to do the maths) 98 Male entrants.
Of the 119 competitors, 19 runners are rated as being at the “Elite” level, with the remaining 100 being of mixed racing ability and experience, from seasoned veterans to ultra-racing novices.
As you can see, this race has a very large number of starters; this can be an issue in any race but may prove “interesting” in an indoor arena….
“Tour-de-France” style pile-ups are perhaps unlikely but this many competitors on a track at one time is liable to make running even more of a challenge – there will be a lot of runners occupying a limited amount of space.
In the early stages most of the runners will probably be bunched together fairly tightly but this is likely to change as the event draws on and different running styles and strategies come into play (for example, William will be using a deliberate combination of running and walking to maximise average speed throughout the 24hrs, while other runners will be running swiftly from the start then slowing to a crawl as the hours pass).
This means that throughout much of the race, runners will be lapping each other – and passing other runners with a field this size will in itself be a challenge….