Oklahoma Woman Just Smashed the Record for the Fastest 100-mile Race

Camille Herron ran an Illinois Ultra over an hour faster than any woman has run the distance before

Camille Herron just ran 100 miles in 12 hours, 42 minutes, and 39 seconds, over an hour faster than the standing women’s 100-mile record. This was Herron’s first 100-mile finish, and the ultrarunning community is excited to see what the decorated runner does next.

The Oklahoma-city native set the record at the Tunnel Hill 100 in Vienna, Illinois on Sunday. Running an average 7:37 mile, she took top honors among both men and women and smashed the course record. The Tunnel Hill 100 is a relatively flat, fast ultra that follows a southern Illinois trail along an old train route. The course hovers between 300 and 700 feet of elevation, with just 5,829 feet of total elevation gain throughout the race, making it an excellent course for runner to go all-out.

The women’s 100-mile record was most recently broken by Gina Slaby, who ran 13:45:49 on a track in 2016. Before Slaby, the record, set by Ann Trason on road, had stood since 1991. Slaby beat Trason’s time by just 2 minutes, making Herron’s time—set on trail—all the more remarkable. The men’s 100-mile world record, also set on track, is held by Oleg Kharitonov, who ran it in 11:28:03 in 2002.

While new to 100 milers, Herron is no stranger to long-distance racing. The 35-year-old has won 20 marathons (meaning roughly half of all the marathons she’s ever started, she’s won), qualified three times for the Olympic marathon, and holds the women’s world record for fastest marathon run in a superhero costume (we’re not kidding). In June 2017 she won the 89-kilometer Comrades Marathon in South Africa, the world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon. In doing so, she became the third American to ever win the race, and the first in twenty years. Ann Trason, in 1997, was the last American to win. Before switching to primarily trail races in 2016, Herron won gold twice in the 100 km and 50 km at the IAU World Championships, and set the world record for 50 road miles at 5:38:41.

Photo by Temporun73 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Dan Murphy

    7:37’s for 100 miles? Wow.

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