A sick race for walkers: Paris-Colmar 530 km.
This is the Paris-Colmar racewalk, where these-a-days, one has to be able to walk 200 km (124 miles) in 24 hours just to qualify for entry! That is not a misprint. This is a 530 km race (329 mile) which has two obligatory rest stops: 3 hours and 1 hour. Winning times typically range from 62-64 hours (walking time; this means that these walkers finish in 66-70 hours, which inclides the obligatory rest stops!)
Written by Ivo Majetic
About 530 kilometers starts in capital of France, in Paris, on Thursday at 9 pm. Alongside the river Marne walkers passed first night and day and after about 250 kms they are obliged to stop for obligatory 3 hour rest. Early Saturday morning they start the second part of the walk, which becomes hillier. From this time there are first walkers who has to give up from the race. All day and night ends on the second obligatory stop for 1 hour. After this short rest walkers are to cover the final 100 kms in about 12-16 hours. During this period all walkers must climb to altitude 950 m above the sea level and after that walk down to near river Rein that is the border with Germany. The first finisher crosses the finish line in lovely town Colmar in Alsace on Sunday after noon and the last tired and happy finisher has to walk till Monday very early morning.
This race is not just a hike. The average speed of the winner can exceed 8.5 kms an hour. This speed is including all stops for massage or so.
More information can be found on official Paris-Colmar web page.
There were six walkers from the Czech republic in the whole history of this race but only one of them, Ivo Majetic, knew the feeling of crossing the finish line in Colmar till 2000. In 2000 the second Czech racewalker - Zdenek Simon - become part of the history of the race with final time 74:12 hours.Ivo's resume is here: http://www.ultrawalking.net/marchadores/ivo.html
He came to help out with the Houston Centurion race (his PR is 17:00 for the 24 hour walk). During a period of suffering, I told him that I was going to ask a judge to DQ me; he said: "you can only get DQ'ed for running, and in your condition, running is impossible."). He also wouldn't let me sleep for more than 30 minutes. When I mentioned that I threw up on a previous lap, he said "good, you'll feel better. Now keep walking." He then did a couple of loops with me.