This man just ran over 300km in 24 hours - shattering an 'untouchable' world record

Ultramarathoner Aleksandr Sorokin adds to his record-breaking year by surpassing the 24-hour distance record set in 1997

a group of men running on a road
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For most people, running a marathon is a considerable achievement. Completing the 42.195km run is the result of months of training, focused performance, and detailed food plans. 

It takes dedication, and an eye on incremental improvements with one of the best running watches to achieve a marathon personal best. 

If you want to push your fitness challenge even further, ultramarathons have become one of the most popular endurance running events. Technically, this means running a distance greater than the 42km marathon length, although it's often at least 50km - and often then some.

That was the case for ultramarathoner Aleksandr Sorokin, who this weekend broke an ultra running world record at the UltraPark event in Poland - running no less than 309.4km in 24 hours.

The previous record was set in 1997 by Yiannis Kouros, who achieved 303.5km in a single day. It was widely believed that Kouros' achievement would never be broken, having been described as 'untouchable' - but incredibly Sorokin added almost six additional kilometers to the record.

The running community reacted in awe of Sorokin's achievement. One Twitter user called it 'the greatest athletic feat in history', encouraging others to 'plot this out on Google maps from your home to a distance of 192mi to get a sense of what he's done.'

Meanwhile, another tweeted: 'Unbelievable. Struggling to get my head round how that is even possible but can’t. What an achievement.'

However, 39-year-old Sorokin has been smashing records this year. According to an interview with iRunFar, the Lithuanian only began running after an injury earlier in life meant he quit kayaking and adopted an unhealthy lifestyle. To get fitter and lose weight, in April 2012, he quit smoking, stopped drinking, and started running.

Just nine years later, in April 2021, he broke the 100-mile world record, hitting the target in 11:14:56 and the 12-hour world record, running 170.4km. During the interview, he said he trains twice a day, clocking up 260km each week. These sessions are coupled with interval training, with distances ranging between 800m and 3km.

It's likely thanks to this combination of techniques that Aleksandr Sorokin was able to break the 24-hour record at the UltraPark event, with a pace across the seven-marathon distance of 4 minutes and 39 seconds per kilometer.

Sorokin's performance is exceptional, but you don't need to be a record-beating athlete to lace up a set of the best running shoes for women or the best running shoes for men and start running. The important thing is to take things at your own pace and not compare yourself against ultramarathoners and elite athletes or fitness influencers. 

If you need some guidance or motivation, consider downloading one of the best fitness apps for customized training plans and exercise tracking. Plus, it's always a good idea to keep one of the best water bottles handy to stay hydrated. 

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.