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Sichel to celebrate 100th ultra!

by Press Release
Friday 16th September 2016
Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel, 62, travels to the Swiss town of Brugg, near Zurich this weekend for their 24 Hour road race to be held on Saturday September 24th and Sunday 25th.  
However, this isn’t just another ultra race but William’s 100th ultramarathon since his first one, a 40 mile race in the Isle of Man, in May 1994.
“It’s been an amazing 22 year journey of self-discovery and gradual improvement as I built up my knowledge and experience of this type of running. I’ve won 18 of the 100, outright, which makes this achievement pretty special.  Over the years I have always been willing to stretch my limits by attempting ever longer races.  The longer they got the more successful I became.  Currently my wins have covered races from 100km up to 8 days in length.”
Race Wins
From a race victories point of view William’s best year was 2011 when he had outright wins in the Hungarian 6 Day Championships in the May, the 48 Hour World Cup race in Cologne in July and then Monaco’s “No Finish Line” 8 Day event in November.
Race Miles
William has calculated that, up to and including the 99th ultra he has covered 19,659 miles in races alone and expects to surpass 20,000 by the end of 2016.
William’s Races
All of William’s ultra races have been run as a ‘veteran’ or ‘masters’ athlete ie over 40 years of age.  Although William has specialised in relatively flat road and track ultra marathons he has also tackled many of the ‘classic’ events too:
The Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race in New York – the World’s longest certified footrace
The Spartathlon – 153 miles from Athens to Sparta
Comrades Marathon in South Africa – the World’s largest ultra with 20,000 starters, 55 miles from Pietermaritzburg to Durban
Badwater Ultramarathon 135 miles through Death Valley in California USA.  The World’s hottest race with temperatures peaking at 54C in 2006 when William did it.
‘La Ultra – The High’ run through Ladakh in Northern India’s Himalayan region.  The World’s highest ultra with 5000m/18,000‘ peaks to conquer
International appearances
William has represented Great Britain on 12 occasions and Scotland on 6, giving a total of 18 international ‘vests’ since his debut for Great Britain in 1996.
William contracted testicular cancer in July 1997 – one year after becoming a GB International runner.  He underwent surgery in Aberdeen that same month and returned to international competition for GB in September of that same year.  William then returned to Aberdeen for a course of radiotherapy later that year.  
Medical Science
William is currently the subject of an ongoing Case Study at the University of Kent’s School of Sport & Exercise Science in Chatham. The study, by a PhD student, is examining the effects of sleep deprivation on endurance performance and will be written up and presented to a scientific journal for publication.Treadmill tests indicate that physically William is little different to any other well trained, elite endurance athlete.  The difference lies ‘between the ears’ where it is much more difficult to measure.
William’s Records
William has, to date, set 183 ultra running records at World, British and Scottish level including age-group records.  William considers that he is just ‘borrowing’ the records and hopes that all his records will be broken eventually.  He hopes that, in some small way, his achievements might inspire the over 50’s to be more active.
“Whilst people just see me running, in reality it is very much a team effort that has resulted in my success.   I’m indebted to the support of my wife, children and grandchildren and to my race support crews and sponsors, without whom none of my record-setting performances would have been possible.”
William’s Secrets
  1. Uncanny pace judgement – in many of William’s races he has run faster, or further, in the second half, including during the World’s longest certified footrace – 3100 miles – in New York in 2014.
  2. He has always stuck with 4 runs a week – seems to work for William
  3. He has always given time and increasingly so, to mental skills training
William first started running for health and fitness in 1992.
“I was approaching my 39th birthday in April 1992.  I saw the London Marathon on TV and decided to run around the block, here in Sanday, in order to get fit for when I was 40.  I have been running ever since!” 
William’s Future
William sees this land mark 100th race as very much a ‘new beginning’ and not as the end of something.  He has no retirement plans and has some exciting goals and projects in the pipeline to keep him active and motivated long into the future.
Main Sponsor Alfred Flett Ltd

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