In Vienna, Illinois, Camille Herron ran the Tunnel Hill 100 in 12 hours, 42 minutes, and 39 seconds. She shattered the previous women’s 100-mile world record by more than an hour.
The Tunnel Hill 100 is known for blazingly fast long-distance running records. Vienna, Illinois, doesn’t have many hills or challenging terrain, and racers can go all out on the course. Herron did just that, running the fastest women’s 100-mile race in history.
On November 12, Herron, 35, won the Tunnel Hill 100 at 12:42:39, averaging 7:37 per mile. Previously, Gina Slaby ran 100 trail miles in 13:45:49 in 2016.
The pace is mind-boggling, particularly on a trail course. It’s only about an hour slower than male Zach Bitter‘s American men’s 100-mile record of 11:40 set in 2015 on a track. The fastest 100-mile ever run was set on track by Oleg Kharitonov at 11:28:03 in 2002.
Fastest 100-Mile Race: Camille Herron
Herron, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is no stranger to long-distance running. She won gold twice at the IAU World Championships in the 100 km and 50 km, qualified three times for the Olympic Marathon, and has won 20 marathons. In 2015, she set the world record for 50 miles (on road) at 5:38:41.
For this year’s Tunnel Hill 100, she was going for the record. The course’s 100 miles in southern Illinois gain 5,829 feet in elevation at an altitude of 300 to 700 feet. Contestants must run the same loop twice.
Herron’s record-setting performance is utterly unfathomable. Now, she can add this achievement to her long list of running accomplishments. Congrats to Camille!