Meanwhile, Ryoichi Sekiya and Sumie Inagaki of Japan won the men’s and women’s events respectively of the 2007 Soochow University International Ultramarathon 24-hour race yesterday.
Sekiya, the holder of the Asian record who also won the world championship in Canada in July, defeated his rivals to take first place by running 275.68km in 24 hours. It is the third time he has won the title since 2002.
Sekiya, 40, said he felt terrific after holding out through the grueling night, which was cold and wet, knowing that he was going to smash the record again.
France’s Mohamed Magroun trailed Sekiya to claim second place in the men’s event, completing 241.85km, followed by Taiwanese runner Wu Sheng-ming (吳勝銘) with 216.26km.
Inagaki, 41, won the top spot in the women’s division by completing 232.92km in the endurance contest. Her performance also broke the Asian record for women.
Inagaki was followed home by Taiwanese runner Chiu Shu-jung (邱淑容) and Japanese runner Hiroko Okiyama, who finished second and third in the women’s ultramarathon with 211.38km and 210.75km respectively.
Chiu said that she suffered a cramp in the back of her thighs at a certain point, but managed to finish the day-long race after adjusting her speed.
This is the seventh time that Soochow University has sponsored the event, which attracts top-notch marathon runners from around the world.