The 9th IAU 24 Hour World & European Championship takes place this weekend and our Aussie athletes are all over there raring to go. The event is taking place in Katowice, Poland and will see world Champions from 2010 Shingo Inoue (JPN) and Anne Cecile Fontaine (FRA) starting in Poland. The Aussie team consists of John Pearson as team captain, David Kennedy, Ewan Horsburgh and Rick Cooke in the mens and Allison Lilley, Susannah Harvey-Jamieson and Sharon Scholz in the ladies. The team is slightly reduced this year due to a few injuries, but contains some solid performers that have raced year in year out for the gold and green.
Ewan Horsburgh is making his debut for the Aussies following his fantastic wins at C2K last year and also Coburg where he clocked up 234.470kms. Allison Lilley is also running herself back into some good form following her win at the Sri Chinmoy 24hr earlier in the year too where she clocked a PB of 192.16kms and third place overall.
Looking at the international competition and form, Shingo Inoue (JPN) is the defending champion and at the last edition of the championships, established an Asian best performance with a distance of 273.708km. Ivan Cudin (ITA) bronze medalist from 2010 is the second best ranked athlete in the field with 263.841km. Jean Marc Bordus (FRA) completes the top 3 ranking running 260.147km in 2010.
In the women’s event, current 48 Hour World’s Best Performance holder Mami Kudo (JPN) leads the athletes with a performance of 255.303km. Last edition’s winner Anne Cecile Fontaine is going for a three-peat entering with 243.644 km. She is followed by Michaela Dimitriadu (CZE) with a distance of 234.75km.
There are a record 269 athletes (160 men and 109 women), representing 35 countries, who are taking part in this year’s edition of the event. The course that the race is being organized on is a 1554m looped route in Park Slaski in Chorzow very close to the Krakow City Center. The course is relatively flat with a couple of rolling hills.
Good luck to our Aussie athletes and you can follow the race with live updates on the IAU website (www.iauultramarathon.
org) and twitter (@iaunews). However given the previous form of the IAU with live race coverage, it remains to be seen just how good those updates will be 🙂