Ultra-athletics: Covid inspires a “vintage year”

Ultra-athletics: Covid inspires a “vintage year”

 The sporting calendar may have been severely disrupted this summer, but for one group of sportsmen and women, 2020 has been a “vintage year”, said Nicholas Hellen in The Sunday Times. For ultra-athletes this has been the most record-breaking year in the history of the sport. Deprived of the chance to compete overseas, or to race against other competitors, many fell runners and ultra-marathoners “chose instead to compete against the clock, up hills and down dales, on pathways and along roadside verges”. In July, Kim Collison, 40, climbed 78 2,000ft summits in the Lake District in 24 hours, beating a 23-year-old record. Two weeks later, Carla Molinaro established a new women’s record for running the 874 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats: it took the 36-year-old Team GB ultra-marathonrunner 12 days, 30 minutes and 14 seconds. A host of other records also tumbled. Donnie Campbell eclipsed the fastest time for running up all of Scotland’s 282 Munros (peaks over 3,000ft), taking just under 32 days to do it. In September, running coach Kristian Morgan set a record for the South West Coast path, running its 630 miles in ten days, 12 hours and six minutes. Ally Beaven, the author of Broken, a new book about the phenomenon, says that 2020 is destined to become known as the “year of the fastest known time”.

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