2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships Results: Women’s World Record for Miho Nakata, Alexander Sorokin Repeats Men’s Win

Japan’s Miho Nakata sets new women’s world record and Aleksandr Sorokin repeats as men’s winner at the 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships.

By on December 2, 2023 | Comments

At the 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships in Taipei, Miho Nakata (Japan) set a new women’s world record and Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) repeated his win from 2019. Nakata covered a distance of 167.996 miles (270.363 kilometers) and Sorokin ran 187.530 miles (301.800 kilometers).

This year’s race, held on a 1.24-mile (2 kilometers) loop, took place on Friday and Saturday, December 1 and 2, and kicked off at 10 a.m. local time on Friday.

The IAU 24-Hour World Championships are one of the biggest events in ultrarunning and haven’t been held since 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Unlike many other races, athletes are not only competing as individuals but are also working to score points as a team for their country’s team rankings.

In the women’s race, expectations were high for the last edition’s winner and 24-hour record holder Camille Herron (United States), but in the end it was Nakata who stole the show and broke Herron’s world record by a super-slim margin of 807 feet (246 meters), what amounts to a little over half a lap of a track.

In the men’s race, as predicted by many, Sorokin emerged as champion after creating a large gap between himself and the rest of the field. While Sorokin was aiming to also set a world record, he wasn’t able to maintain the requisite pace in the last 5 or so hours, though he still finished first by a wide margin.

We dive deeper into the race below.

Miho Nakata - 24 hour world record - 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships

Japan’s Miho Nakata celebrates after setting a new women’s 24-hour world record at the 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships in Taipei on December 1 and 2. Photo: International Association of Ultrarunners

2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships Women’s Race

As expected, the top athletes remained close to one another in the early couple hours of the race, and then things began to string out. By some five hours in, Herron, the 2019 champion and world-record holder, sat in third place, two minutes back from the lead, while eventual champion Miho Nakata (Japan) was already leading.

At the halfway point, the women’s podium positions were composed of Nakata, Herron, and Line Caliskaner (Norway). Some 16 hours in, Nakata continued to build her lead, but second and third places shuffled, with Carmen Maria Perez (Spain) and Noora Honkala (Finland) now in those spots.

One of the biggest shocks of the women’s race came when Herron withdrew at about 88 miles (142k), just under 12 hours into the event. Only nine weeks prior, Herron won and broke the course record at the Spartathlon in Greece and said on social media after withdrawing that she didn’t feel fully recovered from that effort.

Change came again at the 21-hour mark behind leader Nakata, where Olena Shevchenko (Ukraine) had now moved up to second place and Perez down to third place.

As the race progressed, all eyes were on Nakata, who was on track for breaking the world record, but the question was if she’d be able to hold pace through the finish. She needed every last second of those 24 hours to get the job done, surpassing the prior world record by a short distance. Read more about Nakata’s world record in our news article.

Shevchenko finished second with more than 157 miles (254k) and Patrycja Bereznowska (Poland) moved up late to round out the women’s podium. She finished with more than 154 miles (248.8k).

2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships Women’s Race Results

  1. Miho Nakata (Japan) – 167.996 miles (270.363k)
  2. Olena Shevchenko (Ukraine) – 158.116 miles (254.463k)
  3. Patrycja Bereznowska (Poland) – 155.058 miles (249.541k)
  4. ​​Katja Lykke Tonstad (Denmark) – 154 miles (248k)
  5. Stine Rex (Denmark) – 152 miles (245.8k)
  6. Guler-Cionca Mara-Alexandra (Romania) – 151 miles (243.8k)
  7. Aleksandra Niwińska (Poland) – 150 miles (242.8k)
  8. Carmen Maria Perez (Spain) – 149 miles (240.8k)
  9. Petra Pastorová (Czech Republic) – 149 miles (240k)
  10. Alison Allen (United States) – 147 miles (238k)

In the women’s team race, Poland won, Japan took second, and the Czech Republic was third.

Provisional results.

2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships Men’s Race

Last year’s winner and current 24-hour world-record holder Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) was the heavy favorite, but did not go out as aggressively as the early frontrunners. It was almost six hours before Sorokin took the lead, and at the 12-hour mark, he was just short of his world record pace.

Whilst Sorokin increased his gap on the field to 7.4 miles (12k) at the 16-hour mark, Fotios Zisimopoulos (Greece) led Andrii Tkachuk (Ukraine) in a still close race for second and third place. Interestingly, while the women’s race for the podium shifted numerous times, this would be the men’s ultimate podium.

With five hours left to race, the world record was out of Sorokin’s reach, but he was plenty strong enough to maintain that large gap.

With four hours left to race, Francisco Mariano Martinez (Spain) sat at 150.3 miles (242k) in fourth place, challenging for the podium.

After 24 hours, Sorokin finished with 187.530 miles (301.800k), well off his previous world record of 198.598 miles (319.614k). Zisimopoulos finished second with about 181 miles (292k) and Tkachuk finished third with about 176 miles (284k).

Aleksandr Sorokin - 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships winner

Lithuania’s Aleksandr Sorokin on his way to winning the 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships. Photo: International Association of Ultrarunners

2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships Men’s Race Results

  1. Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) – 187.524 miles (301.790k)
  2. Fotios Zisimopoulos (Greece) – 181.598 miles (292.254k)
  3. Andrii Tkachuk (Ukraine) – 176.805 miles (284.540k)
  4. Francisco Mariano Martinez (Spain) – 175 miles (282k)
  5. Mihal Sulja (Serbia) – 165 miles (266k)
  6. Andrzej Piotrowski (Poland) – 165 miles (265.8k)
  7. Videtič Luka (Slovenia) – 164 miles (264.8k)
  8. Paul Musegaas (The Netherlands) – 163 miles (263.8k)
  9. Valdenir Cordeiro (Brazil) – 163 miles (262.8k)
  10. Daniel Hawkins (Great Britain) – 162 miles (260.8k)

In the men’s team race, Lithuania took top honors, followed by Poland and Great Britain in second and third.

Provisional results.

Eryn Barber

Eryn Barber is a freelance writer at iRunFar. For the last five years she’s also written for publications like “Ultra Runner Magazine” and “Like The Wind Magazine.” She works as a personal trainer, has a master’s degree in strength and conditioning, and has been featured in “Women’s Health” magazine. Eryn has transitioned over the last decade from sprinting on the track to running on the trails and fells, distances anywhere from five to 50 kilometers. In her spare time she enjoys reading, drinking Earl Grey tea, and learning French.