Soochow University brought the curtain down on its 24-hour International Ultra-marathon on December 4th, marking a perfect end for the world’s first carbon-neutral running race as five of the top six runners were women with three historical records created in the event.
This year’s top performers included Andrzej Piotrowski of Poland, who was only the third person in human history to finish over 300 kilometers in 24 hours; Miho Nakata of Japan, who set two new world records: the farthest distance within 12 hours by an Asian woman, and the fastest Asian women in completing the first 100 miles; Kuan-Ju Lin of Taiwan, who set the record of the longest distance within 24 hours by a Taiwanese woman (to be certified).
Polish runner Andrzej Piotrowski finished first in his second Soochow Ultra-marathon with 277.272 kilometers. Taking the lead from beginning to end with a steady pace, he considered the dramatic temperature difference between daytime and nighttime to be the toughest part of the race. He was satisfied with his performance despite falling short to break his personal best record.
“I’m so glad to come here and join the event!” said Miho Nakata, who won the second place with 256.024 kilometers. Other runners’ encouragement and fighting spirit were the motivation for her to cross the finish line, she added.
Kuan-Ju Lin came in fourth with 228.794 kilometers. Feeling exhausted, Lin burst into tears in the last ten minutes of the race. She was surprised and amazed when knowing the final result, and believed her training efforts for the past months finally paid off.
Also inspiring was Zhee-Long Cheng, a physically challenged runner from Malaysia, who finished with 77.648 kilometers. Beginning with physical discomfort, he persisted in completing the entire race, exactly demonstrating the spirit of Soochow Ultra-marathon.
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