CJ Albertson Sets 50k World Record in 2:38:43

CJ Albertson breaks the 50k world record in a time of 2:38:43.

By on October 9, 2022 | Comments

On Saturday October 8, 2022, at the 35th annual Ruth Anderson Memorial Run 50k in San Francisco, California, American CJ Albertson reset — and reclaimed — the 50-kilometer world record in a new best time of 2:38:43.

Albertson previously held the all-surface 50k record, which he set on the track, in a time of 2:42:30 in 2020. This was narrowly bested by Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa, in a time of 2:42:07, at the Nedbank Runified 50k Race in Gqeberha, South Africa, in March 2021. A year on, in March 2022, South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka took almost two minutes off the record at the same event — running 2:40:13 in a breakout 50k debut.

CJ Albertson - 2022 Ruth Anderson Memorial Run 50k winner

CJ Albertson breaking the tape at the 2022 Ruth Anderson Memorial Run 50k in a world record time of 2:38:43. Photo courtesy of Steve Jaber.

Unlike his 2020 track run, Albertson’s latest record-breaking run took place on a looped course made up of seven roughly 4.5-mile loops of asphalt and dirt path, accumulating around 100 feet of elevation per loop. The event comprised a 50k, 50 mile, and 100k race. Co-race director Steve Jaber told iRunFar that part of the reason the Californian runner chose the local race for this planned record attempt was that the course was fully ratified for records. On learning of Albertson’s intentions, the organizers also secured a bronze label accreditation for the event from the International Association of Ultrarunning.

He ran without pacers, leading the charge from the get-go, and went through the half marathon distance (13.1 miles) in 1:05:40. He reached mile 26.5 in 2:15:02, and held strong for the last loop to finish in a time of 2:38:43 — a comfortable 90 seconds clear of the world record.

His time equates to a pace of 5:07 minutes per mile for 31.1 miles.

Earlier this year, Albertson placed 13th at the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:10:23, down from 2:11:44, which had earned him 10th place the previous year.

He also holds the world record for an indoor marathon — 2:17:59 — which he set in April 2019 in New York.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is Managing Editor at iRunFar. She’s been working in an editorial capacity for ten years and has been a trail runner for almost as long. Aside from iRunFar, she’s worked as an editor for various educational publishers and written race previews for Apex Running, UK, and RAW Ultra, Ireland. Based in Belfast, Ireland, Sarah is an avid mountain runner and ultrarunner and competes at distances from under 10k to over 100k. When not running, she enjoys reading, socializing, and hanging out with her dog, Angie, and cat, Judy.