© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

Yuriy Galkin running the Moscow Marathon.

Yuriy Galkin is currently the fastest M60 24-hour runner in the world, but he won’t be getting recognised as the record holder any time soon, or ever.

The Russian ultramarathon runner from Moscow has run up to 426-kilometres weekly in training, to competitively race the 24-hour distance event. In May of 2018, he ran as far as 231K in a 24-hour road race. He then competed in the Moscow Self-Transcendence 24-hour track race and covered 243,549m. He is 61-years-old.

If the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) wasn’t suspended from competition by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) the results would count; they don’t.

According to the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 243K is an M60 world best to 2015.

The IAU kept records until 2014 as separate for road, track and trail. They have since been combined. The current official world 24-hour record for men age 60 is 240,790m (240.79K) by Max Courtillon of Great Britain.

“Yes, I did run in May 231K in 2018 and in August 2019 I did run 243,549m. You can see in this results page here,” shared Gulkin: http://statistik.d-u-v.org/getresultperson.php?runner=634198

“It was a best result for age 60-plus, but Russian runners were under sanctions from WADA, so this result wasn’t included in record list. It is Russia record only,” added Galkin.

The next best result behind Galkin is 229,301 by Lars-Christian Dorum of Norway.

Only one person in the 55-plus age-group has run faster, fellow Russian Anatoly Kruglikov ran 257.04K in 2015 in the Netherlands. Only eight runners in the M50 category have ever run faster.

Asked about his training he said, “Typically weekly, I run get about 150 km, but 3-4 week before competition, I’ve got up to 300-400 km weekly.”

Asked if the former swimmer and current youth swim coach followed the careers of great Russian ultrarunners like Oleg Kharitonov and Denis Zhalybin, he said, “Indeed, I followed all great Russian ultrarunners, but they stopped running now. Now I run with other great Russia runner Anatoly Kruglikov. Three times he ran with me, in 2017, 2018 and 2019 years, unfortunately, he felt a problem with stomach two times and this year got problems with his pancreas and run 207 and 203-kilometers only.”

Galkin is also a certified Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Asked if he feels that having strong aerobic condition from ultrarunning helps his diving, he told Athletics Illustrated, “Yes, sure. Now diving help for running, 10 years ago, when I lived in Egypt, running help my diving. [Of course], I don’t smoke, not drink beer or strong alcohol, but sometimes in holidays.”

He returns to Egypt twice a year to take student divers, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of his running.

One week in July, according to his Strava account, he ran 426.3km in 48-hours and 40-minutes and gained 3,116m in elevation. It was by far his biggest week though, he has run as far as 255K in one week in August, which included his 24-hour race and ran a 270K week at the end of April.

He joins Strava run clubs about as fast as he collects miles. He is a member of at least 1700 different Strava clubs. If runners notice the odd volume of running this 60-year-old manages to fit in, it’s not a mirage. He is fit and fast and will continue to run.

Asked if he knew about the Zach Bitter 100-mile world record he said, “Yes, I watched this great record on the internet.”

He runs decently over the marathon distance as well. Not to the same level as his 24-hour performances, but he ran the Moscow Marathon in the time of 2:59.25 in 2018 at the age of 60 to win his 60-69 age-group. At age 58 he ran the farthest out of all Russians in the 24-hour event going 245,254m.

He avoided answering the question of whether he feels if the IAAF and WADA ban on Russia is just.

Yet, he is undeterred, expect him to be racing again soon. The 2019 edition of the Moscow Marathon is 11 days away and he will be shooting for another sub-3-hour performance.

“I will try. On 30 June in Sankt-Pitersburg I run only 3:01:25.”