Mon, Mar 10, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Nunes wins Taipei endurance race


Brazilian athlete Valmir Nunes won the men's title of the Soochow International Ultra-marathon in Taipei yesterday with a distance of 273.83km after running almost non-stop for 24 hours.

Second was Japan's Ryoichi Sekiya, with a distance of 261.6km. Sekiya failed to beat his personal best of 266.27km, which still stands as the record for an Asian runner.

Hungary's Edit Berces won the women's title with a distance of 227.77km, followed by Japan's Kimie Funada Noto, with a distance of 220.79km.

The endurance race took place on the track of Taipei's Soochow University, beginning at 10am Saturday and ending exactly a day later.

Taiwan's Chen Chun-yen took third place in the men's group with a distance of 244.74km, breaking his own and Taiwan's record of 223.74km.

Chang Mei-lien, 46, who holds the national women's 100m dash record and the Sinkuang Skyscraper Staircase Race record, finished the 24-hour race with 175.63km, breaking the record of 158km set by Taiwan's Chiang Li-wen last year. Chang was the only Taiwanese woman to take part in this year's ultra-marathon.

Thirty-four men and women from seven countries started the event, but five dropped out of the race because of injuries.

Berces, holder of many world records, including the women's ultra-marathon, the 100km and the 200km run, also got the chance to meet up with her Taiwanese roommate from university days in the US.

Lee Pei-chen and Berces attended California State University at Long Beach, Berces said, and they had not seen each other for 10 years.

When Lee, now an English lecturer at Tunghai University in central Taiwan, appeared at the finish line of the ultra-marathon at 10am yesterday, Berces burst into tears of joy at having her dream realized.

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