Hungarian athlete Katalin Nagy has set a new US record on an athletic track by running 243.7 kilometres in 24 hours at the Desert Solstice ultra-run event in Arizona.
Ms. Nagy, who was raised in the Hungarian town of Gyöngyös but now lives in the United States, rose to international fame when she finished in second place in the legendary Spartathlon race some months ago, competing for some of the distance with three-time winner and fellow Hungarian Szilvia Lubics.
Although she initially planned to complete 140 miles (225 kilometres), by the final two hours she felt that this could increase to 150 miles (241.4 kilometres); her perfomance as the 24-hour time limit ticked off exceeded even this vast distance.
I had no serious stalemate [during the run]. In my head, I knew what I wanted. My stomach was in pain at night and the cold bothered me. I ate little during a three-hour period but knew that I will be re-energised before the sun rises”, she explained. Being able to follow her current position on a screen, she only began paying attention to fellow athletes in the final two hours; at that time, the woman behind her had completed some 6.5 kilometres less than her, meaning that she only have to keep up her pace to secure victory.
It took four years for Ms. Nagy to become one of the world’s best ultra runners. “Since my childhood, I have tried many things but I liked running the best. It is what enables me to relax, meditate and recreate the most. I ran my first marathon in Budapest in 2010. One year later, I began thinking about increasing the distance. In 2012, I entered a 80-kilometre ultra – that was the day I decided to become an ultra runner.”, she explained.