On Sunday in his hometown of Vilnius, Lithuania, ultrarunner Aleksandr Sorokin broke his 100km world record by a narrow margin of six seconds. Sorokin ran 61 laps of a one-mile loop in the Lithuanian capital, finishing in a remarkable time of six hours, five minutes and 35 seconds, averaging three minutes and 39 seconds per kilometre.
The 41-year-old was on pace to smash his record by a few minutes, but his pace slowed in the final 20 kilometers, which cut things close. Sorokin was paced by several of the world’s top ultrarunners, including Piet Wiersma of the Netherlands, who won bronze behind Sorokin at the 2022 IAU 100 km World Championships.
“I am extremely happy that I managed to break a world record, and I did so in my native city,” says Sorokin. “Vilnius is the city where I started running, and it’s my great pleasure to make history right here.”
The event, titled the World’s Fastest Run, powered by Nord Security, was built around Sorokin. The race was certified by World Athletics and approved by the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and the Athletics Federation of Lithuania.
Sorokin is currently the only runner in the world who holds five world records simultaneously. His range of records also includes the 100-mile record (10:51:39, Israel 2022) and the longest distances at set times—six hours (98,496 km, UK 2022), 12 hours (177,410 km, Israel 2022), and 24 hours (319,614 km, Italy 2022).
Sorokin’s peak training weeks for his record-breaking run were over 360 kilometers (an average of 50-plus kilometers per day).
His next goal is to become the first ultrarunner to cover 200 miles (321.86 km) in 24 hours. In 2022, he came close, with his 24-hour record of 319.61 km. He told us in a previous interview that he has “unfinished business with the 24-hour distance.”
“There’s much more to come,” says Sorokin.