Photo Aneta Mikulska
Andrzej and Patrycja the winners of 2018 IAU 24H EC
The competition started on Saturday morning at 10 am (local time) on May 26th with 173 athletes from 30 European countries. We had 73 women and 100 men on the starting line. This was one of the deepest fields we were having in the championships including World and European Champions, WBPs holders. It was exciting race with uncertainty until last 15 minutes of the race. From early start weather condition was hot but it changed later after heavy rain in favor of runners.
In the men competition it started similar to previous 2016 European Championship when Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU) took lead from first minute of the race. He set very fast pace and left no room for other runner to keep this fast run. There were some ups and downs between other runners from second place onwards. Sorokin managed to open the first 50K in 3:32h, than 50 miles in 5:56h and 100K in 7:28h. Second runner was almost an hour behind him after 100K mark. Nothing changed for another notable mark at 100 miles when Sorokin did this distance in sub 12:30h. Nicolás De las Heras Monforte (ESP) was one of the first runners to open the chase. He manage to keep second for several hours until Stephane Ruel (FRA) made move and take 2nd pace after 21 hours. There were other runners like Andrzej Radzikowski (POL), Radek Brunner (CZE), Dan Lawson (GBR), Florian Reus (GER), Norbert Mihalik (HUN), Enrico Maggiola (ITA) that were in top 10 and changing places among themself. Two hours before the end of the race there were 4 runners in front close to each other. Sorokin was still 1st but his 15 km lead from early stage vanished. Ruel, Radzikowski and Monforte were running fantastic pace and manage to close the gap for only 3:20 min, 1 lap and 2 laps respectively. This was clear sign that we will witness incredible competition until last minute. Finally it was Radzikowski who keep strong pace below 5 min/km in the last 2 hours and took the lead around 50 min before the race end. Ruel was 2nd with less than 2 km behind and Sorokin secured 3rd place. All three runners manage to set new personal best.
Photo Aneta Mikulska
From left: Stephane Ruel, Andrzej Radzikowski, team mate on behalf of Aleskandr Sorokin
It was very similar in women competition. The first 14 hours were in hands of Antonija Orlic (CRO). She was the only one that run 100K below 9h (8:53h). Just behind her crossing 100K in 9:04h was Stine Rex (DEN). Both were looking confident and strong. After 100 miles mark Patrycja Bereznowska (POL) closed the gap and join both Antonija Orlic and Stine Rex. All three were leading with several minutes between them. Finally after 16 hours Stine Rex took over the lead as Orlic could not hold strong pace any more. At this stage there was a strong performance of all Polish runners and they were already in top 15. Patrycja Bereznowska on 2nd, Monika Biegasiewicz on 4th, Małgorzata Pazda-Pozorska on 5th. This gave a massive lead to Poland for the Team competition. After 18 hours it was Bereznowska who took over the lead. She manage to hold this lead till the end but it was all very close for remaining 6 hours. Stine Rex was just 1 lap behind and at the same time Małgorzata Pazda-Pozorska moved to third position leaving her team mate Biegasiewicz on 4th. There was a big pressure on Danish runner for the remaining time. Those three ladies (Bereznowska, Rex, Pazda-Pozorska) manage to keep this standing till last minute but there was only 1 lap gap between each of them for those 6 hours.
Photo Aneta Mikulska
From left: Stine Rex, Patrycja Bereznowska, team mate on behalf of Małgorzata Pazda-Pozorska
In the Women Team competition it was all about Poland as they dominated the competition. Second team from Germany was over 63 km behind. Poland took the lead in the middle of the race being together with Croatia and Hungary. After 18 hours when leaders changed Germany and Great Britain manage to catch the pack and place second and third respectively. This order was settle and remain after 20 hours giving Poland gold, Germany silver and Great Britain bronze.
In the Men Team competition for long time Czech Republic was the leading nation. Spain, Poland, Germany, Great Britain and France were there as well exchanging places. Around midday Spain took the lead but shortly after German runners start pacing well and they took over the lead. At 12 hours mark Germany was 1st with Spain and France behind. After 16 hours Great Britain joined the fight for medal. Germany was leading and France was second. Those three remain on top 3 positions till the end. The order changes several times but solid run from France move them to lead after 18 hours. Germany and Great Britain were fighting between themselves. Hungary and Poland try to keep for some time but finally it was France 1st, Great Britain 2nd and Germany 3rd.
Our thanks to Florin Florea the President of the Romanian Athletics Federation and Diana Amza the President of the Local Organizing Committee for hosting this event.
1. Patrycja Bereznowska (POL) 243.35 km
2. 3. Małgorzata Pazda-Pozorska (POL) 240.69 km PB
1. Andrzej Radzikowski (POL) 265.41 km PB
2. Stephane Ruel (FRA) 263.54 km PB
3. Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU) 260.99 km PB
1. Poland 720.45 km
2. Germany 656.24 km
3. Great Britain 645.06 km
1. France 754.62 km
2. Great Britain 735.15 km
3. Germany 725.96 km
Chair of the IAU Communication Committee