Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel, will depart for Oslo this Friday (20 November) to compete at the Bislett International Indoor Endurance Festival 48 Hour race. The weekend of racing, which includes 6, 12 and 24 hour events, is expected to be the largest indoor ultra marathon event Europe has ever seen.
Sichel’s participation comes after the 62-year-old competed at the world's highest ultra marathon - ‘The High’ – in Kashmir last month. The event followed a route through the Nubra Valley in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India and the Morey Plains. Competitors were faced with the task of covering 333km at an average altitude of 14,500 feet with temperatures ranging between -10°C and 40ºC.
As it stands, William boasts an overall 48-hour best distance of 213.92 miles set in Brno, Czech Republic in 2007, but all his best road 48 hour distances were set as splits during much longer races.
Looking ahead to the race, William said he anticipated a tough challenge, particularly with this being an indoor event: “There’s no doubt that the two lane track will feel a bit busy in the first 24 hours as there will be close to 200 runners on the circuit, as the 24 hour and the 48 hour events both start at the same time. I’ve been warned that it will also feel warm and stuffy being a steady 18C.
“I have a good, tried and tested plan for this event and I’m looking forward to having a good run. Being an indoor event there are a number of record opportunities which I’m looking forward to having a go at.”
The Norwegian race is part of Sichel’s broader pursuit of project165.com, in which he aims to set 165 ultra running records before his 65th birthday in 2018.