The 2014 International 24-hour Ultra Marathon was a world class "exclamation mark" event! Being the last ultra of the year, the Soochow University 24-hour Marathon again succeeded in becoming the world's only Golden IAU race. Yoshikazu Hara from Japan (285.366 km), Ivan Cudin from Italy (255.499 km), Florian Reus from Germany (253.899 km), Ryoichi Sekiya (241.099 km), Mami Kudo (222.431 km), together created this honor. Yoshikazu Hara not only broke the record of Grecian Yiannis Korous, who ran 284.070 km in 2002, but also created a new Asian record by beating Ryoichi Sekiya, who ran 274.88 km in 2007.
This year's theme was "The Unbreakable Warrior, Running for Mandela". Dr. Nelson Mandela fought for human rights in South Africa throughout his life and in 1993 he came to Soochow University in Taipei, receiving the "Soochow University Honorary Doctorate of Law" Degree. Passing away on December Fifth of last year, our school wanted the opportunity to show our feelings of gratitude through the marathon theme. Hoping everyone would honor and remember Dr. Mandela, we purposely held the "67 Minute Run" and the "67 Team, 670 People, and the 5-hour Relay Race".
This year's competition included the 24-hour Race, the Five Hour Relay, and the 67 Minute Race, which was again supported by Taipei Friends of Physical Rehab Organization. During the competition, we added a 3-hour relay race for our friends who are going through physical rehabilitation. The music department, various clubs, students from the dormitory, Shilin Ka Wa Yin Line Dancing Group among others were involved in encouraging and cheering on the runners. A total of 1,709 runners and 650 volunteers joined this year's events.
Mr. Chih-lung Tseng, an outstanding youth with cerebral palsy from Malaysia, was invited once again to compete. With the support from The Xinyi Infant Asylum, he finished the race, running a total of 74.78 km, unable to break his 2013 record of 89.807 km. On December Third, he spoke to students on the topic of Cherishing Life during the Ultra-marathon Volunteers and Referees Orientation.
This year Yoshikazu Hara (285.366 km) from Japan won again for the men, and Mami Kudo (222.431 km) also from Japan won her fifth consecutive title for the women.