Professional long distance runner Camille Herron ran for an unprecedented 100 miles, but later found out it did not set the world record.
Herron is widely viewed as one of the top ultrarunners in the world. In February, she won the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 100-miler in Nevada.
The race was billed as the USA Track and Field 100 Mile Road Championships.
It took Herron 12 hours, 41 minutes and 11 seconds, which beat second-place finisher Arlen Glick by almost 30 minutes. She beat her own record of 12 hours, 42 minutes and 40 second, or at least that what she figured.
The course was remeasured twice, and officials ultimately ruled that the course had been shortened by 716 feet. The alteration meant the USA Track and Field committee would not ratify Herron’s record.
Both Herron and her coach, Conor Holt, have said to be suspicious of the findings due to what the claimed been a lack of transparency from track and field officials. Race director Ken Rubeli questioned the legitimacy of the findings, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post.
The 40-year-old runner said the situation has been devastating.
“I set a world record in that race, and now they’re telling us that we don’t know whether the course was 100 miles or not,” she said. “So it’s been very upsetting to me the past several months. I’ve had races since then, and this has weighed heavy on me and impacted my performances.”
In a statement, USA Track and Field official David Katz asserted that the measurements “produced a course less than the 100 miles.”
Katz went on to note that the course was measured twice in February and then re-measured in October by two “top A-level measurers” and came up 716 feet short.
Rubeli expressed his feelings about the measurements in a letter to Nancy Hobbs, the chair of the USATF Mountain, Ultra and Trail Sport Council.
“Trying to measure a course’s shortest possible route 8 months after a race, is challenging at best and open to subjectivity, especially if the measurement individuals don’t know the relevance of the green course paint marks relative to cone placement,” Rubeli wrote.
Rubeli also cited safety reasons when he spoke about changing a turn on the course.
Herron said she is certain that she ran a full 100 miles and wants another shot at the record.
“I hope I get another opportunity at the record, but I may not — you don’t know what the future holds,” she said. “So this is highly impactful on me and my career. I mean, I’m 40 years old, you know. My time is now that I’m in the best shape of my life. And, I mean, these moments can be fleeting. I put my heart and soul into that performance, and it was such a big deal for the sport and the history of the sport that it needs to count.”