This will be the 9th occasion on which the Energia24 race will have been held. The event began on the Mary Peters’ track in 2010 and moved to Victoria Park in 2016 for its World Championship demonstration event and the World Championships followed in 2017.
The International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU) has awarded this race a silver label (a bronze label for the 100kms). The IAU is based in Monaco. It operates under the patronage of the IAAF, delivering ultra distance running internationally within the IAAF rules. It has more than 80 member federations.
The 24-Hour is a form of ultra marathon, in which a competitor runs as far as they can. It is a 1-2-3 podium men’s and women’s race. There is also a team relay race, a 12-hr and a 100km. Competitors have ‘crews’ to help them. They tend to ‘fuel’ as they go and only take toilet breaks - although they can leave the course for rest periods.
The top athletes are capable of running six marathons back-to-back.
The men’s world record was set by Greek Yiannis Kouros in Adelaide, Australia at 304km (189 miles) in 1997. Many feel it will never be beaten and is one of the most impressive records across any sport.
The women’s world record was set by Poland’s Patrycja Bereznowska in Victoria Park, Belfast in 2017 at 260km (162 miles).
The best Irish performance at a World Championship was fifth from Cork’s Eoin Keith in Bergano in 2009 (237km/147 miles) and seventh from Cork’s Ruthann Sheahan in Katowice in 2012 (229km/142 miles).
Eoin Keith currently holds both the men’s Irish track(245kms/ 152 miles, Mary Peters’ track,Belfast 2013) and the Irish road records(248kms/154 miles,Victoria Park,Belfast 2017); and Ruthann Sheahan the women’s Irish track(226kms/140 miles,Mary Peters’ track,Belfast 2013) and road records(229kms/142 miles,Katowice,Poland 2012).
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