Helsinki – Paul Hart after 6hrs…
Latest news from Alan in Helsinki –
“Paul went through a bad patch around 5-6hrs but the change of direction after 6hrs has seen him return to form”.
For those who don’t realise, in ultra-distance stadium races it is common practice to reverse the direction periodically during a race (e.g. running anti-clockwise rather than clockwise). This is basically to try to even-up the strain a little as otherwise runners are constantly turning in the same direction on bends in the track – this isn’t really an issue in shorter races but can be a very real concern in ultra-distances – in context by the 5hr mark, Paul had already done 142 laps, all in the same direction. In this race, direction changes are planned to occur every 6 hours (at the 6hr, 12hr and 18hr marks – the 24hr point is the end of the race).
Hopefully Paul will be able to maintain his so far excellent performance but in any race, and especially with ultra distances, speed and endurance are always difficult to balance – so only time will tell.