Records, competitiveness and creations centre-stage at 2007 Soochow International 24H Ultra-Marathon

Thursday, November 29, 2007

2007 Soochow International 24H Ultra-Marathon.
Image: Rico Shen..

Founded in 1999, and the first-ever 24 hour ultra-marathon race in Taiwan, the 7th Soochow International 24H Ultra-Marathon, took place on November 24-25, 2007. Even though the race has been suspended in the past, in 2000 and 2006, due to poor conditions on the track field, several world-class runners participated in the 2007 race.

First-ever Hall of Fame to Ryoichi Sekiya

Hall of Fame Awarding.
Image: Rico Shen..

According to Soochow University, the host and organizer of the games, the juries judged this award from some conditions especially on results of past races world-wide and in Taiwan, including World Cup Ultra-Marathon.

On November 23, the juries declared Japanese runner Ryoichi Sekiya as the first runner in the Hall of Fame of the 2007 games as Sekiya currently holds the record for Asia's 24h ultra-marathon race, supervised by International Association of Ultrarunners.

A difficult 24-hours battle

As the host declared the game with a "final battle" of ultra-marathon to the world, the 24-hour and 12-hour classes started on November 24. Participants in those classes would fight until next morning (November 25), and they had to reverse their directions every four hours during the race.

But due to some unforeseen disturbances from Typhoon Mitag, the weather was uncertain from day to night. The uncertain conditions caused some runners to enter the medical station frequently.

Two Japanese break Asia's Record respectively

Runners from the Japanese Team showed their best strength and endurance during the long and difficult 24-hour race, as it sometimes rained and shined in Taipei City.

Finally, Ryoichi Sekiya ran 275.684 km to retain his championship, and his teammate Sumie Inagaki ran 232.92 km to win the Women's 24H Championship. They respectively broke Asia's 24hr ultra-marathon records in men's and women's classes in this race.

Local Volunteers show the quality of this race

According to some information at SCU Taiwan, the SCU recruited their students to volunteer as administrations of the race, including lap-counting (12hr and 24hr classes), medical service, competition controlling, and real-time multilingual translation as volunteers.

With their participation, they not only gained experience as administrators and organizers, but their teachers can also evaluate their service quality and inherit their leaderships for sports organizations in Taiwan when organizations want to hold an international competition in the future.

List of Winners

Top 3 of 24 hours

Sumie Inagaki won the champion with Ryoichi Sekiya.
Image: Rico Shen..
  • Men's Group:
    1. Ryoichi Sekiya (Japan), 275.684km
    2. Mohamed Magroun (France), 241.85km
    3. Sheng-ming Wu (Taiwan), 216.264km
  • Women's Group:
    1. Sumie Inagaki (Japan), 232.92km
    2. Shu-jong Chiu (Taiwan), 211.375km
    3. Hiroko Okiyama (Japan), 210.749km

12 hours

  • Men's Group: Ya-jun Hsiao (Taiwan), 126km
  • Women's Group: Shu-ming Huang (Taiwan), 104.9km


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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.