Whether you are an elite marathoner or someone who only runs if you are being chased, Camille Herron’s latest feat will impress. It happened Feb. 19 at the "Jackpot Ultras" in Nevada, site of the 2022 USATF 100-mile Championships. Yes, a 100-mile race. That’s roughly the distance from Philly to Manhattan, or a mere 400 consecutive laps around the local high school track. In addition to winning the race, Herron beat her own previous women's world record and bested the nearest male competitor by 30 minutes. Her time was 12:41:11, or 7:37 per mile. By the way, she turned 40 last year.
In an interview with the New York Times, Herron says Forrest Gump inspired her in part to take up running as a teen. Decades and innumerable miles later, she explains, "Women ultrarunners age like fine wine. It’s a sport that favors having physical and mental strength. The mental capacity becomes a greater part of being able to push the human limits for 100 miles and beyond." It hasn’t always been easy. Herron struggled through several races in 2020 and 2021. Recalling one instance in an interview with I Run Far, "I basically hit 30 miles in the race and felt like I wanted to take a nap." She goes on to explain that subsequent bloodwork revealed a significant iron overload.
"I got in touch with one of my friends who is a dietitian. She’s totally reinvented me. I feel like I’ve literally relit my inferno." After that, per Running Magazine, “I felt healthy, humbled, hungry to redeem myself, and most importantly, ready to let the magic come out.” Herron's training regimen is grueling, but less grueling than it once was: "I still put in pretty high volume, which for me is 120 to 130 miles per week," she tells I Run Far, "But I’ve really cut back on the number of quality sessions that I do. I also don’t do as many long runs. I used to do a long run pretty much every Sunday. Now it’s maybe once or twice a month that I do a long run." (Read more world record stories.)