Professional ultrarunner Camille Herron smashed the world record for running 100 miles, or so she thought.
The 40-year-old American ran 100 miles in 12 hours, 41 minutes, and 11 seconds breaking what was already her own record by over a minute. The problem is that the course wasn’t 100 miles, it was a whopping 716 feet short.
Her triumph came in February, and to make sure the record was legitimate USA Track & Field (USATF) measured the course. After discovering it was short of 100 miles, the organization re-measured the course again in October. Again, they found the course to be short of the 100-mile mark.
USATF decided not to ratify Herron’s world record-breaking time.
“Due to overwhelming documentation, photos, first-hand accounts, and live video coverage of the race this fact is not in dispute, no runners in any contest ran certified courses on race day,” World Athletics measurer Brandon Wilson told The Washington Post.
This ruling has been devastating for Herron.
“I set a world record in that race, and now they’re telling us that we don’t know whether the course was 100 miles or not,” Herron told The Washington Post.
“So it’s been very upsetting to me the past several months. I’ve had races since then, and this has weighed heavy on me and impacted my performances.”
To think you set a world record after running 100 miles (!!!) and having that taken away from you because course organizers messed up could very well be one of the worst breaks in sports history.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris