Ultramarathon winner runs 209 kilometres in 24 hours
The women’s champion 100km is now the Belgian champion in Ultramarathon, running for 24 hours straight – and losing most of her toenails
Still in bed
Ultramarathon is a name given to any running event that is longer than a traditional marathon (42.2km). In Belgium’s Ultramarathon, runners keep going for 24 hours, and the person who clocks the most kilometres wins.
Vetsuypens (pictured) has been running long distances for just two years. Last year she won the Women’s 100km Championship with a time of 9h02’13”. She had never run more than 100 kilometres when she ran the Ultramarathon yesterday in Aalter – going more than twice as far.
“I’m still too tired to realise what I’ve achieved,” she told VRT this evening. “I have not managed to get out of bed yet; my body is just finished. My trainer is telling me to do a little walking, but that’s not going to happen. Several of my toenails have fallen off.”
She has been training for the Ultramarathon for months, she says. “I ran five days in seven, often 80 kilometres at a time. I trained at night, too, to get used to running after dark. I would set my alarm and get up sometimes three times a night to go running. My husband slept in another room,” she laughs.
Vetsuypens received a lot of support, she says, from her friends and family. “Even my children came to support me during the 24 hours. They’re still little, so my husband set up a bed for them in the car.”
Her next goal, she says, is to “pulverise” her time in the 100km in June.
Photo courtesy Radio 2