I was told I “might be an ultra runner” in 1993, following some success at ‘ordinary’ marathon running and reporting that I “wasn’t exhausted at the finish of a 2 hours 38 minute marathon”. I enjoyed instant success, winning the Scottish 100km (62 miles) Championships in July of 1994.
I went on to get my first Scottish vest in 1995 and my Great Britain call-up in 1996 and represented GB in all European and World 100km Championships through the 90’s. I also won the British Championships and the World Age-Group Championships at the 100km distance. I have now (October 2017) completed 102 ultra marathons, winning 18 of them.
Unusually I won my debuts in the 100km, 24 Hour, 72 hours, 6 day, 7 and 8 days events.
During the early part of the 2000’s I focused on 24 hour races, being ranked in the World Top 10 for two years. I had outright 24 hour wins in Switzerland, the USA and the UK. I also tackled some classic ultra distance events including the Spartathlon (twice) – 153 miles from Athens to Sparta, setting a Scottish event record and the World’s Hottest Ultra, the Badwater Ultra marathon, through Death Valley in California, setting a British event record.
In 2006 I had a winning debut in my first 6 Day race, in Monaco and became the overall World No1 in that event, for that year. Since then, multi-day races, up to 3100 miles in length, have become my speciality.
In the November 2011 Monaco “No Finish Line” 8 Day race (which had over 6,000 participants) I won the event outright, set a new course record and became the first person to cover more than 1000km during the 8-day race.
For some years I was been engaged in Project 60@60 in which I was attempting to have set 60 ultra distance records, at World, British and Scottish level, including age-groups, before my 60th birthday on October 1st 2013. The two 1000km records, achieved in Monaco in November 2012, marked my 59th and 60th records thus achieving my target 10 months ahead of schedule. Full details are provided HERE. Project165.com was announced in October 2013.
My running reached new levels lin the summer of 2014, with my multiple World Record breaking run in the World’s Longest Certified Footrace – 3100 miles/5000kms – on a road circuit in New York last summer. I became the first British runner of any age and the first person over 60 from anywhere, ever, to complete this long established event. All 50 days, 15 hours 6 minutes and 4 seconds.
Over the past 23 years I have set 427 ultra running records at World, British and Scottish level including age groups. The Scotsman newspaper described me as a ”role model for the middle aged”.
In July 2017 my life changed traumatically when my wife of 35 years, Elizabeth, passed away after a very short illness. My tribute is HERE
William Sichel – October 2017
Some of William’s Personal Bests
- Marathon: 2:38:17 (1995)
- 100km: 7:07:49 (1996)
- 12hr: Track 141.50km/87.92 miles (2001)
- 24hr(Road): 246.70km/153.30M (2000)
- 48hr (Indoor): 344.267km/213.92 miles (2007)
- 48hr (Track): 340.80km/211.76M (2008)
- 48hr (Road): 329.710kms/204.87 miles (2007)
- Six Days(Road): 809.230km/502.8 miles (2007)
- Six Days(Track): 857.07km/532.56 miles (2008)
- 1000kms (Road): 7days, 23hours, 45minutes, 43seconds (2010)
- 1000 Miles (Road): 13days, 20hours, 8minutes, 1second (2010)
- Badwater: 31hrs 36mins 12secs British Record (2006)
- Spartathlon: 29hrs 01mins 29secs Scottish record (2007)
2014: Completed the World’s Longest Certified Footrace – the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Miler held annually in New york. The first ever British finisher (inside the current 52 day time limit) and the oldest person (aged 60) ever to complete it.
2010: Athens International Ultramarathon Festival – 1000 Miles World Cup. Runner-up with 13d, 20h, 8m, 1s. Three World Age-Group records at 6 Days, 1000kms and 1000 Miles.
Athens International Ultramarathon Festival 7 Day, Outright winner. World Age Best for 6 Days (Road) 751km/466.65 miles (2009)
“Across the Years” 72 Hour race, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Outright winner with 269.364 miles/433.50 kms. (2009)
Hamm Six Day Track Race, Germany. Outright winner, P.B., British Record (M50), Scottish Track record and All-Time Scottish record (Modern) – 857.07km/532.56 miles (2008).
“World 48hr Championships”, Surgere, France. 5th overall (M50 1st). Track P.B. (2008).
World No3 for the Six Day event with outright win and course record in Monaco Six Day race -809.230km/502.8 miles (2007)
Scottish event record in the world’s longest point-to-point race – the 153 mile “Spartathlon” in Greece (2007)
Scottish Record 48 Hour 344.267km/213.92 miles (2007)
World No1 for the Six Day event with 770.247km/478.60 miles, Monaco course record (2006)
British event record in the 29th running of the “World’s Hottest Race” the Badwater Ultramarathon 31hrs 36mins 12secs (2006)
Scottish event record in the world’s longest point-to-point race – the 153 mile “Spartathlon” in Greece 33hrs 14mins 20secs (2005)
“Across the Years” 24hr, Phoenix, Arizona, outright winner (2005)
World 24Hr Championships Age-Group Silver (2004)
Guinness World Records (treadmill) 100 miles & 24hrs (2002)
World 24hr ranking No12 (1998 & 2000)
Basel 24 Hr, Switzerland, outright winner (2000)
British 100km Champion (1999)
Masters World 100km Champion (1998).
European 100km Championships: Team bronze medal (1997)
Scottish 100km Champion (1994)
Represented Great Britain 11 times since 1996:100km team x 8 & 24hr team x 3
Represented Scotland 6 times since 1995. Last representation was in 2011.