Leamington C&AC’s Sue Harrison finished tenth in what organisers described as “probably the highest standard 100k World Championships held in recent years”.
The 28th World 100k Road Running Championships were held at Winschoten, Netherlands, and incorporated the European Championships and the World Masters Championships.
Representing Great Britain, Harrison lined up among 240 of the world’s best ultra runners with the aim of beating her previous best of 7hr 48min 12sec.
Harrison clocked 45:26 for the first 10k lap and the first marathon mark was timed at 3:11:02 by which time she had moved up to 12th spot.
She reached the half-way point in ninth in 3:47.26 and was leading the Masters W40 age group race.
The 44-year-old went through the 84k-mark in eighth having covered her second marathon in 3:15:09, but just a kilometre later she was passed by Australian Kirstin Bull who eventually crossed the line four minutes in front of her to set a new national record.
It improved my British Masters record by over eight minutesSue Harrison
Sweden’s Stina Svensson relegated her to the silver medal position in her World Masters Championship age group at 92k but Harrison maintained her strong pace to stop the clock at 7:39:50, earning her seventh place in the European Championship.
Harrison, who will now take a short, well-earned rest before deciding on her next challenge, was quick to pay tribute to coach Les Barnett who has masterminded her training while battling cancer.
“I am so delighted to break the 7hr 40min barrier,” said Harrison.
“That was my target and it improved my British Masters record by over eight minutes.
“The 100k is not something you can undertake on your own and I was delighted that my coach Les Barnett could be part of the team to help me in Holland, as he has done all through my training.”
USA’s Camille Herron ran an outstanding 7:08:35 to win the Women’s Championship, with Harrison’s GB team-mate Jo Zakrzewski fifth in 7:31:33.
Jonas Buud from Sweden won the men’s race in 6:22:44.