Imagine circling a 200-meter banked indoor track 211 times in one continuous run.
That’s what seven runners did Saturday in New York at the inaugural Armory NYC Indoor Marathon. In the end, both the men’s and women’s indoor marathon world records were broken at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory—Malcolm Richards for the men in 2:21:55 and Allie Kieffer for the women in 2:44:44.
Michael Wardian held the previous men’s record in 2:27:21, and it was actually broken by two men Saturday. Besides Richards, Anthony Migliozzi also bettered Wardian’s mark, finishing second in 2:24:02. Third place was Calum Neff—you may remember him from his half marathon record pushing a stroller earlier this year—in 2:28:52.
As for Kieffer, she was the only woman to enter the race (along with six men) and she broke the women’s record by more than nine minutes (Monika Kalicinska had the mark in a time of 2:53:53).
An indoor marathon is an interesting race— weather is not a factor, nor are there any hills. But navigating more than 400 turns definitely has an impact. Richards ran the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in February, finishing 18th in hot conditions in a time of 2:18:40—about three minutes faster than his indoor marathon on Saturday.
“You have to have some mental games you play,” Richards told the New York Times. “Just even having the music going, that helped.”
Both Richards and Kieffer earned $6,000 for their efforts—$5,000 for breaking the record and $1,000 for winning the race.