19 MAY 2010 General News

Inoue and Fontaine take 24 Hour IAU World Championship titles

Anne-Cecile Fontaine of France at the IAU World Championships (Freelance)Anne-Cecile Fontaine of France at the IAU World Championships (Freelance) © Copyright

The 8th IAU 24 Hour World and European Championship took place in Brive-La-Gaillarde in the South of France on May 13-14th 2010. Shingo Inoue (JPN) and Anne-Cecile Fontaine (FRA) grabbed the World titles with 273.708km and 239.797km

The International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) celebrated the 8th 24 Hour World & European Championships with record breaking feats. Amongst the records set, included total participants of 229 athletes representing 32 countries, taking part in this day and night event in Brive, France.

The race was organized on a 1253.84m course around city streets on May 13-14th 2010. Individual countries had set up their refreshments to support their athletes. The cooler temperatures during the day and the absence of forecasted rain during the night resulted in several athletes getting person and national bests, including one, setting a continental record.

Shingo Inoue (JPN) was dominant in winning the men’s title. He completed an Asian record of 273.708km in 24 hours, breaking the previous record held by his countryman and multiple champion, Ryoichi Sekiya of 273.366km. Inoue, 29, ran a very consistent race taking the lead at 3 hours and never relinquishing it.

American phenom Scott Jurek finished in the silver medal position accomplishing his goal of breaking the US record. He completed 266.677km breaking the old mark of 261.5km.

Ivan Cudin (ITA) finished 3rd making his move in the last 3-4 hours of the race and in turn accomplishing a new Italian record of 263.841km. Vladimir Bychkov (RUS) and pre-race favourite Fabien Hoblea (FRA) grabbed the 2nd and 3rd place in the European Championships with 258.534km and 256.256km.

The men’s race had bottled down to two, Inoue and Jurek right from the early stages of the race and both athletes battled well, to the very end. In the team event, Japan won the men’s division, followed by Italy in 2nd place and USA in 3rd place. In the European Championships, Italy grabbed the gold, followed by France and Great Britain in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.

Like in the men’s race, the women’s race was also a two athlete competition at the top of the leader board. Last year’s winner, Anne-Cecile Fontaine (FRA) and 2009 bronze medallist Monica Casiraghi (ITA) battled it out until the 9th hour when the former took the lead for good. Fontaine, 39, finished the race with 239.797km, about 5 kilometres shy of the World’s Best Performance.

Casiraghi ran a very brave race and battled through the night and grabbed the silver medal with 231.090km. Like in the men’s bronze medal race, Julia Alter (GER) made her move in the last quarter of the race and came in strong to finish in 3rd spot with 230.258km.

The European top 3 standing remained unchanged. In the team event, France finished 1st followed by Italy and Australia. This is the first time Australia put in a women’s team. A true accomplishment in itself, let alone, winning the bronze medal. In the European Championships, France won the gold, followed by Italy and Finland in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

The race was a treat to watch and it was exhilarating to witness so many records and personal best being achieved in the 24 hour time frame. The race organizers and volunteers of Brive put on an outstanding race.

IAU is looking forward to next year’s event that has been given to Brugg, Switzerland.

Results 24hr World Championship 2010, Brive, France

Men:

Gold --- Shingo Inoue FRA 273.708 km
Silver --- Scott Jurek USA 266.677 km
Bronze --- Ivan Cudin ITA 263.841 km (1st European Championship)
4th Place --- Yuji Sakai JPN 258.907 km
5th Place --- Vladimir Bychkov RUS 258.534 km (2nd European Championship)
6th Place --- Fabien Hoblea FRA 256.256 km (3rd European Championship)

Women:

Gold --- Anne-Cecile Fontaine FRA 239.797 km (1st European Championship)
Silver --- Monica Casiraghi ITA 231.390 km (2nd European Championship)
Bronze --- Julia Alter GER 230.258 km (3rd European Championship)
4th Place --- Annemarie Gross ITA 229.166 km
5th Place --- Sylvie Peuch FRA 225.164 km

Team Competition Men:

Gold --- Japan 778.678 km
Silver --- Italy 758.932 km (1st European Championship)
Bronze --- USA 757.468 km
4th Place --- France 751.835 km (2nd European Championship)
5th Place ---   Great Britain 742.777 km

Team Competition Women:

Gold --- France 685.800 km (1st European Championship)
Silver --- Italy 658.112 km (2nd European Championship)

Bronze --- Australia 654.863 km
4th Place --- USA 625.529 km
5th Place --- Finland 605.143 km (3rd European Championship)


Nadeem Khan for the IAAF