She Ran 100-Mile World Record Only to Be Told It Didn't Count

USA Track & Field refuses to ratify Camille Herron's record, says course was too short
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2022 8:15 AM CST
Updated Nov 20, 2022 12:30 PM CST
She Ran 100-Mile World Record Only to Be Told It Didn't Count
Camille Herron signals three as she crosses the finish line of the 15th annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, with her third win in the women's division of the event, in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 26, 2015.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Professional ultrarunner Camille Herron thought she'd beaten her own world record by more than a minute in February when she completed a 100-mile race in 12 hours, 41 minutes, and 11 seconds, for a pace of 7:37 minutes per mile. The Oklahoma woman beat the male second-place finisher by almost 30 minutes and received wide acclaim after dominating the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 100-miler in Nevada, which also served as the USA Track & Field 100 Mile Road Championships. But USA Track & Field now says the record is no good, per the Washington Post. According to an A-rated World Athletics measurer, the course Herron ran was actually 99.9 miles, or exactly 716 feet short.

USATF "decided not to ratify the record because the course was changed from what was certified," USATF Road Running Technical Council Chair David Katz tells the Post. Katz says the course was measured on the day of the race and afterward, as well as two more times in October, coming up short each time. An Oct. 25 report determined the shortest possible route on the course was 99.864336 miles. "This fact is not in dispute," wrote the measurer, whose A-rating authorizes him to verify a world record. A week after the race, however, a B-rated World Athletics measurer, who was hired by race director Ken Rubeli but cannot verify a world record under USATF rules, found the shortest possible route to be 100.00396 miles.

In a letter to a USATF official, Rubeli says he altered a turn on the 1.17-mile loop course due to a "near collision between a runner and a baby stroller" but adjusted for it using "precise cone placements." He says officials may not have known "the relevance of the green course paint marks relative to cone placement" and "inches matter" over some 90 laps. The 40-year-old Herron says the whole thing has been "very upsetting." "I put my heart and soul into that performance," she tells the Post, and "it needs to count." But "it's not a done deal yet that it's unratified," she adds, per Canadian Running. (More ultrarunning stories.)

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