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Posted: January 6, 2009  :

Ultra-Running: Victory in Arizona caps amazing year for ultra runner Sichel

Orkney based ultra distance athlete William Sichel, 55, achieved a convincing victory in the 25th running of the “Across the Years” 72 hour race held at Litchfield Park, Phoenix, Arizona over the New Year. Recording 269.36 miles, William was 34 miles ahead of second placed Aaron Sorensen (USA).

The largest ever field of 48 athletes lined up at 9am on December 29th. Leading contenders John Geesler (USA) and Serge Girard (France) immediately took the lead.

The 72 hour runners would be joined during the following days by athletes competing in a 48 hour race and finally a 24 hour event, with all the competitions ending at 9am on New Year’s morning.

Running in hotter than expected conditions William slowly worked his way up through the field being as low as 5th in the early stages. William passed 108 miles in the first 24 hours in second place to Germany’s Achim Heukemes. A lead had been established by the 48 hour mark by which time William had run 197.3 miles.

Huge improvements had been made to the man-made road but the recently re-laid surface clearly needed to settle a little more to make it a harder surface. Many runners suffered with foot problems caused by the fine, dry grit. William ran the whole race wearing gaiters which worked well for him.

“My second overseas win means 2008 has been an amazing year for me following my victory in the Hamm 6 Day race in July. I won here in Arizona 4 years ago in the 24 hour event and it’s great to come back and win again in the 72 hour.”

The event proved to be ideal preparation for William’s major record attempt in Athens beginning on April 3rd when he will make his second attempt on Scotland’s oldest athletic record set 127 years ago when George Noremac ran 567 miles in 6 days in New York in 1882.

William would like to thank crewman Alan Young from Brechin who traveled to Arizona with William to assist during the race. Both William and Alan went down with heavy colds as the race started which made for a difficult few days.

William is grateful to sponsors: Myprotein, Loganair & The Orcadian. Financial assistance was also provided from the Scottish and Southern Energy Spurness Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund


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