Perth 24hr race – after 12hrs

Following a couple of quick phone calls from Tim Rainey, here is the latest news on William as he continues his run,  representing Scotland in the Six Nations 24 hour race in the Perth Ultrafest.William’s stated pre-race aim is/was to achieve over 130 miles (209.21km) in 24 hours.

While Tim was not able to provide me with an official distance figure for William at/after the 12hr (half-way) point, unofficially William would appear to have covered 119km (73.94 miles) in the first 12hrs.

To put this in context, most athletes typically run a little faster in the first half of a race and then slow a little in the second half.

If William were to follow this pattern he would wish to have achieved a distance somewhat in excess of half his goal-distance by the half way point in the race. This means that he would be looking at having covered more than 65 miles / 104.6km by the 12hr point.

If Tim’s unofficial figure of  73.94 miles / 119km at 12hrs is correct, William is running well to form and is certainly on target.

As I mentioned, most runners usually cover more distance in the first half of a race than the second. This is often referred to as a “positive split”.  If a runner achieves a (roughly) equal distance in both halves of a race, this is called an “equal split”, and if a runner achieves a faster average speed / greater distance in the 2nd half than in the first, this is a “negative split” (a somewhat confusing term for those not involved in this type of sport as there is generally nothing “negative” about this!).

To reach his pre-race target of 13o miles / 209.21km at 24hrs, William would need (based on Tim’s figures) to cover a further roughly 56miles / 90km in the second 12 hours. This represents running a “positive split” and should be very achievable. Naturally if William were to run an “equal split” or a “negative split” then he would finish considerably above his pre-race target (which, while possible, is obviously not a specific goal).

I probably won’t have much in the way of updates before the closing stages of the race (or perhaps not until after the end of the 24hrs) as Tim will probably be getting a bit of much deserved rest. Tim was himself running in the 100km race in Perth today and, having not tackled the distance for four years, set a personal best of 9 hrs 54 mins 39 secs (the first time Tim has completed 100km under 10 hrs).  When I spoke to Tim he was nursing a few blisters (and a beer) but feeling justifiably pleased with himself. Some people would of course be happy to crawl off somewhere to sleep after running 100km, so hats-off to Tim for managing a bit of trackside reporting before grabbing any down-time.

Tim tells me that the weather was rather on the hot side on Saturday afternoon and that personally he would have preferred it slightly cooler. William usually does well in heat so this probably won’t have had a negative impact on his performance (Perth is rather unlikely to have reached the temperatures found in William’s last race in Athens, the 1000 mile cup earlier this year) but with any luck a cooler period through the night may suit William and the other runners well.

Tim tells me that veteran Scottish ultra-runner Richie Cunningham is at Perth and turning his able hand to crewing, which I am sure William will appreciate greatly.

When I last spoke to Tim he told me that William was running well, looked comfortable and was happy to chat a little while continuing his run.

Naturally a great deal can happen in 12 hrs of running, but at present things are looking good for William.

More news as I get it

All the best