There’s no one central repository for ultramarathon and ultrarunning race times.
There are, though, a couple of places that do a pretty good job of collecting race results and ultrarunning times. Ultrasignup is probably the best for the US races, though it is a little difficult to get rankings for the year and the trail-focused ultras there make comparing times difficult. In Europe, however, DUV is the cream of the crop and, truth be told, they have a pretty good handle on ultras well outside of the continent, too.
I kept an eye on DUV statistics ahead of the 100km de la Somme because I wanted to get a feel for what I should be aiming for. I could already compare my 6 hour ultra results with other DUV statistics to get a read on how I was compared to others. Then, seeing where I fell on the ‘ladder’ of results and keeping in mind how I was running recently on the Thames Path, I could set some goals for the race.
For comparison, I like to look at both the Irish and Australian tables. Though DUV counts me as Irish – it’s the passport I run under in France – I’m also still an Australian citizen and I like to see where I stack up there, too.
So how did I do?
Well let’s be clear: I wasn’t anywhere near the top of the table for either country.
According to DUV the best result for a 100K for an Australian this year is Dion Finocchiaro who ran a 7:17 100K split during a 12 hour track race in Bruce. On the Irish side of things, Darren Sheridan is leading things so far this year with a 9:00 at a 100K trail race in Donadea. Obviously I am not in the same class.
I doubt that the statistics at DUV are complete as ultrarunning is just getting more popular and events proliferate far more quickly than any website can keep up with them. Certainly a couple of the ultras I’ve run haven’t been included so that’s as good a sign as any that the list is incomplete. As well, it’s pretty hard to compare an ultra trail race with an ultra on the road or the track, or over mountains, for that matter. I think I was in more pain during the 6 hour, 46 kilometer Ultra Boucle de la Sarra than I was during the 10 hour 100km de la Somme. It’s not distance or time that means anything much at the ultra distance when it comes to performance and comparing the two races is not as easy as saying “the Ultra Boucle is shorter so it must be easier”.
Still, it’s a nice way to compare where I stand now and to offer a guide for improvement in the future. I don’t think I’ll ever make it to a sub-8 hour 100K or challenge for a podium place of either country’s leader board, but I do appreciate being able to compare where things lie.