Max claims 3 more World Records

by Bob Jackson & Max Jones

from Valley Striders Newsletter - October 1997

Bob writes: After his miserable attempt at achieving a WR of only 118 miles in 24 hours in Hull at the beginning of August (with only 4 other WR's on the way), Max was quickly back in training for another attempt at his goal of 125 miles (200km) at the Tooting Bec (London) 24 hour race in October. He was away in September for one of his regular visits to daughter and son-in-law in America, and decided to run for just 12 hours of Portland 24 hour race as part of his training for London. I'll let Max take over the story...

... And while I was at it, I thought I'd try to pick up the four short ultra WRs which I'd let go by in Hull, having found previously that I don't seem to be able to run 8 minute miles for 30 miles and then immediately change down gears to run 12 minute miles for another 100 miles.

At first, all went according to the plan of 140 maximum heart rate and 2 minute laps of the 400m track. By 75 laps, however, I had to choose between going slower or letting the heart rate climb : last year, as an M69, I'd chosen the latter, this year, with almost 5 years in hand before becoming an M75, I chose the former. But when I reached the 95 lap point with 1 hour 1 minute and a few seconds to go to the 125lap/50km WR (4:16:50), it didn't take my mathematical brain much more than a minute to work out that if I could get back to 2 minute lapping for the next 30 laps, I would crack it by, er, 1 minute and a few seconds. And so it proved.

Or did it? Approaching the 30 miles mark, some 72 seconds too late for the WR, the Race Director told me that there was some doubt as to the authenticity of the track (because it hadn't been re-certified when it had been relaid in the Spring), so he was going to time me at two points for the 50km record. So when I went through the start/finish line for the 125th time, 39 seconds inside the old WR, the said Race Director was standing with his stopwatch at the start of the back straight, 130 metres away. I reached him in 4:16:49, 1 second to spare.

Similar nonsense occurred at the 40 mile and 50 mile marks, but with 2 minutes and 9 minutes to spare, respectively, I hope that at least these two WR's will be ratified, if not all three.

Despite being "all beat up" by that 130 metre sprint, I was first in the race to 50 miles by nearly an hour, but I'd had enough and DNF'd. Again.

That was followed by another DNF at Tooting Bec, also after 50 miles, the effect of the Portland 30 lap and 130m sprint still apparent 2 weeks later. Not to worry, there are at least 20 more 24-hour races before I reach my 75th birthday : plenty of time to get the missing 30 miles and 200km records.

The following table shows Max's 12 World, 3 Commonwealth and 5 British records.
DISTANCE   M 65 - 69  ROAD       M 65 - 69  TRACK      M 70 - 74  TRACK
30 miles                         WR  3:37:13 25May96   BR  4:07:08 27Sep97
50 km                            WR  4:05:56 25May96   WR  4:16:11 27Sep97
40 miles                         BR  5:38:26 25May96   WR  5:49:44 27Sep97
50 miles   WR  6:51:22 21May95   WR  7:07:11 25May96   WR  7:34:31 27Sep97
100 km     CR  9:13:56 23May93   CR 10:13:58 12Oct96   WR 10:31:30  2Aug97
12 hours                         CR 116.812k 12Oct96   WR 109.950k  2Aug97
150 km                           BR 16:45:36 24May97   WR 16:56:15  2Aug97
100 miles                        BR 18:27:59 24May97   WR 18:16:47  2Aug97
24 hours                         BR 177.430k 24May97   WR 191.019k  2Aug97
                                   (110miles 440yds)     (118miles 1220yds)

Key     23May93 Holme Pierrepont  25May96 Doncaster     2Aug97 Hull
        21May95 Holme Pierrepont  12Oct96 Tooting Bec  27Sep97 Portland,Oregon
                                  24May97 Doncaster
           WR = World Record     CR = Commonwealth Rec.  BR = British Record