Ultrarunner Jim Walmsley Sets New 50-Mile Speed Record

Over the weekend ultra runner Jim Walmsley threw down an impressive new record for running 50 miles (80 km) while taking part in a 100 km event held in California. The race was run along the American River near Sacramento, and was ultimately won by Hideaki Yamauchi of Japan, but not before 29-year old Walmsley took down a record that has stood for more than 35 years.

Walmsley got off to a fast start and was able to finish the first 50 miles of the 100k race in a time of 4 hours, 50 minutes, and 7 seconds. That beats the old mark, set back in 1983 by South African runner Bruce Fordyce, who covered 50 miles in a time of 4:50:21. Yep, that’s right Walmsley lowered the bar by just 14 seconds, which over the course of 50 miles is practically like a photo finish. Still, there is no denying that is an incredibly fast time. To beat the record, the American had to average a 5:48/mile pace for the entire way.

In order for Walmsley’s new record to become official however, he had to finish the 100k event. That meant that even though he knew he had set a new record for the 50-mile distance, he had to push on to the end, finishing in 6 hours, 55 minutes, 24 seconds. That was pretty far off the pace of Yamauchi, who crossed the finish line in 6:19:54. Even so, Walmsley finished fourth in the field of runners and with a new world record on his resume.

The event also marked the unveiling of the new Carbon X running shoe from Hoka One One. The new shoe will be available to the public next week, but Walmsley was wearing it when the record fell. That should be a good selling point for Hoka, who has marketed its footwear to trail and road runners alike. You can find out more about the Carbon X and the event in the video below.

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