Nov 202011
 

The race finishes at 1pm UK time (2pm Monaco) and we are now almost at the end of the 8-Day event. As you will appreciate, the crew’s first priority at the end of the race will be looking after William – making sure he’s warm enough (body temperature plummets when you stop after an event of this kind, even in Monaco!), getting him a change of clothes, something to drink – and so on. I’m not at all sure how soon the official race site will have the final results, so please bear with me if there is a delay in posting the details here.

What we do know is that William’s eventual 8-day distance will be a Personal Best for William at 8-Days – and a massive new Course Record for Monaco. William’s previous 8-Day PB was 1000km/ 621.371 miles (which he has now passed) but this was set on a more favourable track. The previous Monaco course record for the 8-Day race was held by Sjavik Trond with a distance of 922.4km / 573.15 miles – so William will have smashed this record by some 78km+ / 48miles + (which is a pretty massive increase).

More news as I get it…

Nov 202011
 

William has passed the 1000km point. At circa 188hrs 30mins, with an a hour and a half left to go in the 8-day race, William had covered 1000km (621 miles, or about 23 and a half marathons), and hasn’t stopped yet. He currently leads the race by approx. 51miles / 82km (about 2 marathons). Sarah Barnett leads the Women’s race with 829km.

Place Dist. Nb tour Nom Cat Pl Cat. Dernier passage
1 1000917 m 729 SICHEL William V2M 1/775 188:28:23
2 918537 m 669 SESSEGOLO Didier V1M 1/1351 188:36:05
3 911672 m 664 CHEVILLON Bernard V3M 1/288 188:35:25
4 892450 m 650 BARNETT Sarah SEF 1/2008 188:34:37
Nov 202011
 

At 182hrs 45mins into the 192hrs race (so with 9hrs, 15mins to go) William now leads the race by 49 miles / 79km and has so far covered 604 miles / 972km. The 1000km M55 record is no longer on the cards, but William’s 8-Day distance and new Monaco course record is still increasing. Sarah Barnett (Australia) has dropped slightly into 4th place overall but still leads the Women’s race by a very comfortable margin of almost 150km.

Place Dist. Nb tour Nom Cat Pl Cat. Dernier passage
1 972084 m 708 SICHEL William V2M 1/767 182:45:21
2 893823 m 651 SESSEGOLO Didier V1M 1/1338 181:37:27
3 874601 m 637 CHEVILLON Bernard V3M 1/281 182:50:31
4 858125 m 625 BARNETT Sarah SEF 1/1953 182:49:40
Nov 202011
 

So near and yet so far…

William won’t be breaking the M55 1000km record – at least not this time.

Ups and downs, wins and losses and even near misses are always the part of any race, ultra-distance being certainly no exception.

My first indication came from Alan when he emailed to say that William had

“Just had a 2 hour break and at 963.4k. predicted to reach 1000k around 11am”

It is always hard to comment meaningfully at distance, the crew are at trackside and we are at the other end of computers, and having crewed myself I know only too well that there really is a world of difference. Initially I was concerned that William was suffering a bit too much from pushing the pace at this stage, but no, he’s fine (at least as fine as anyone can be having been running for around seven and a half days). The decision to take a rest at this point was (I think) prompted mainly by not realising just how close he was to breaking the 1000km record and deciding instead to concentrate on a higher 8-Day total. By my calculations, had William not come off-track and simply kept going he could have / would have broken the 1000km record. But that’s very easy to say from here and a lot harder to judge at race-side, especially without the benefit of accurate distance updates. I’m not about to start passing around the sour grapes here – William has run in Monaco twice before, winning on both occasions, and after last time he said he’d never go back, basically due to the overcrowding on the course and the difficulties in obtaining race data while running. But he changed his mind (largely as this was the only chance for a second multi-day race this year) and he knew what faced him going in to the race. Unfortunately, all the difficulties we had been concerned about have indeed been present.

As Alan wrote, throughout the race it has

“Always been difficult to judge distances due to delay in obtaining info.”

– The updates you see have seen on the blog are basically the same as those the crew have been using to gauge William’s distance. We had initially been hoping to have GPS support during the race, but this proved to be too inaccurate at the race to properly measure by. The race has no manual lap counters (understandably enough given the roughly 6,000 people taking part over the course of the event) and the only distance updates available to the crew have been those provided by chip-control (the same ones I have posted on the blog), and often these have only been updated every few hours or more. That might not seem like too big a deal, but it can make all the difference in the world. Earlier in the race William was by my calculations within about half a kilometre of breaking the Scottish and British 48hr record (at both M55 and overall) when he came off-track with around twelve and a half minutes to spare. Why? The crew thought he had covered 2 more laps than was actually the case because the print-outs of the chip-distances had an error. William’s crew are as dedicated as they come and really no-one can blame them for this. It is not too difficult for either a runner or crew keep their own lap count over the space of a couple of hours. Ensuring that the lap count is accurate over the course of days is really another matter – no matter how dedicated you are, everyone needs to eat, go to the toilet and sleep now and again, and there are a thousand and one distractions (not least of which are seeing to the needs of the runner such as cooking food and mixing drinks). And after over a week with little sleep, it is all too easy to have the odd error in estimates. Of course, 6,000+ people on the track have added other problems. As Alan wrote

“All the records { that William has aimed for } have been very strong and that William has got so close to them will eventually show what a performance this has been. Also to break the course record by 8.5% and more proves the point

Adding

“It was the course and the other 6 thousand people, plus dogs, prams etc that has beaten us.”

So is all lost? Far from it. It’s been a hell of a race so far… Aside from his 72hr M55 record, William has set a new Course Record (and every step he takes increases this). He will become the first person ever to go over the 1000km mark in Monaco, his eventual 8-Day distance remains to be seen. And oh yes, barring a major disaster he is going to win the race – by a very impressive margin.

All in all, not a bad performance so far.

And it’s not over yet…

Nov 202011
 

At just after 178hrs, 30mins (7 days, 10hrs, 30mins) William had covered approximately 599 miles /  964km (about 23 marathons). This distance, already a Course Record for Monaco’s “No Finish Line” 8-Day race, still leaves roughly a further 36km (about 22.5 miles) still to cover in the next 5hrs and 15mins in order to break the current M55 1000km World Record. The race itself ends in approx. 13 and a half hours. William now leads by around 54.6 miles / 88km (almost 2 marathons in distance). In the Women’s race, 1st placed Sarah Barnett (Australia) is running very strongly and moves up to 3rd position overall with a current distance of 524.5 miles / 844.39 km.

 

Place Dist. Nb tour Nom Equipe Cat Pl Cat. Dernier passage
1 963846 m 702 SICHEL William V2M 1/764 178:34:54
2 875974 m 638 SESSEGOLO Didier PERFORMANCE SPORTS NUTRITION V1M 1/1333 178:08:31
3 844395 m 615 BARNETT Sarah MI SEF 1/1947 178:53:58
Nov 192011
 
William taking a break after around 7 days of running

William taking a break after around 7 days of running

 

William - perhaps feeling a tad peckish...

William - perhaps feeling a tad peckish...

 

Cannon fire to celebrate the brithday of Price Albert of Monaco

Cannon fire to celebrate the birthday of Price Albert of Monaco (just what you need when you come in for a sleep break!)

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