New World Record ??? Please help


Christopher Hartel requested me to ask all of you if someone can tell him if he got the new world record in marathon unlimited class ???
He ride a 36" Uni with 114mm Cranks and do the 42,195 km in 1:39:33 h
We could confirm that this is the new German record but we find no place where the actual world record is listed.

It would be great if some of you can help us to confirm if this is the world record or to let us know who keeps it and which time he ride.

The fastest time in the unicon marathon was 1:43 but it had some nasty hills and was on rough paths for some of it, I’m sure people have gone significantly faster.

I’m not sure about this, I dunno what standards there are for marathons, for example the unicon marathon was 43.0 km. The top time for that was 1:41:34.65.

If you extrapolate from that to 42.195km, you get 1:39:40 which is 7 seconds slower than Christopher’'s time, so you’ve got a pretty good chance of it being the record.

That is amazingly fast whatever, great riding.


Google Calculator says that’s an average of 15.8 miles/hour or 25.43 km/hour

I don’t even like riding 16 miles/hour in a sprint. No way am I going to average that speed for an hour and a half.

I already said this on MSN, but the fastest marathon time is 1.36. something by a Japanese guy, I think Daiki Izumuda but I could be wrong. If someone knows please post it. I think Rocket might know.

John Foss will probably have a better answer, but I don’t think world records are kept in the marathon category because the course is not standardized. It’s like the only world record event at the Winter Olympics because is speed skating because it’s the only event where the distances/course are the same in every competition.

I remember back at Unicon X they didn’t even keep time on the muni race since the course would never be repeated.

I don’t know what the IUFs rules on records are though.

It is a standard distance however, in a muni race you don’t have a standard distance or anything to hold on to basically. There is a running marathon record, so why shouldn’t there be a unicycling one? The IUF doesn’t do a lot with records, when I rode the world hour record they told me to post it on Rec.Sport.Unicycling because the record committee was such a mess and couldn’t accept anything, and RSU seemed to them a good way to make it ‘OFFICIAL’, thats the word they used :roll_eyes:

I think Daiki Izumeda holds the Japanese record which is well below that. I don’t have the number but 1hr36 sounds about right. I know the fastest limited (24"/125mm) is around 1hr42min, again by a Japanese rider (I think it was Hiroki Shigeno). It was set on a flat course along a riverbed.

Those Japanese times are the fastest I’m aware of. But I know they could probably be beaten by any number of a handful of riders right now.

The Unicon Marathon was 43km and had some dirt as well as a couple of little hills. From memory I did about 1hr41min on a Coker/110mm cranks. Pretty sure I can go faster now as I was still lacking in confidence from breaking my leg.

1hr39min is a pretty awesome time though!


What Dustin said :roll_eyes:

There are World Records for marathon running so no reason why you can’t for unicycling. Otherwise all athletics records would have to be set on a sports track. The courses will all vary in terms of speed, but it’s still a standardised distance.

I don’t think you can apply world records speeds to MUni riding though, simply because the terrain can vary so much more than on the road.

Yeah, although when you say standardised distance, I think from the website the unicon marathon may have got metricised to 43.0km? I don’t know how common that is.

Muni though, I think it’s kind of worth keeping a track on who’s ridden how far in a day or whatever, just cos it’s interesting, but yeah terrain varies so much that you can’t really say anything meaningful about ‘world records’ or whatnot. Even people’s description of terrain varies tons, we did a kind of techy xc ride with someone last year and they said they’d have described it as hardcore downhilling. Our average speeds on muni rides seem to vary between about 8mph and about 2mph depending on terrain.


Congratulations on a very fast marathon ride! I suppose the first question from a record-keeping organization would be “who measured and certified the course distance?” Apparently our Marathon at Unicon XIV was not the standard 42.195 km (26 miles, 385 yards). I hadn’t heard this before today. Too bad the start or finish position could not have been adjusted to make it the exact distance. Not to detract from the event, it was a huge undertaking and very well organized. I really enjoyed riding in it.

I don’t have marathon numbers. We’ve only done it once at Unicon (if 43 km counts), and most other records are probably from Japan, where they’ve been doing it for 20 years or more.

As for standardization, I think the way it’s handled in Olympic and other versions is that people are aware of the differences of one race to another. Most running courses are probably pretty flat, but other factors are heat, humidity and elevation. I remember elevation being a big deal at the Mexico City Olympics as it was much higher than usual.

In Switzerland we had some hills, some dirt road, and wonderful weather. Future courses, and the one along the Sumida River in Tokyo, for example, are probably smoother and flatter. We can keep track of times, but of course we must keep track of distances as well…

No matter, as the race data there were so inaccurate the hosts were apparently too embarrassed to ever share a copy with us. We have no official race data from Unicon X, other than a paper copy that Jack Halpern has.

In keeping with ThisGuy’s point, yes a MUni race course is generally unique, so times are less important than places. Times are handy though, to clear up discrepancies in times, so it is highly recommended to record them.

The IUF established a World Records Committee a few years ago, but then I think everybody got distracted. I don’t think there are any official policies yet.

For records, there is always room for national vs. international, world vs. Unicon and other distinctions for any given event. And age, for those willing to keep track. For records set outside of unicycle competitions, conditions probably need to be stricter to make sure the timing and course measuring were done properly. Hence my question above. Was it part of a sanctioned marathon race?

Anyway, Christopher’s time is outrageously fast. What was he riding?

I don’t know that for sure, I just read the website, maybe they just rounded the number on the website.


The distance of the Marathon at Unicon XIII was 43.0km. We kept start and finish at the same place for ease of organization (access to power, water, toilets etc). The Marathon distance is not really that standardised, see Wikipedia.

Back then I found somewhere a definition that said, for a race to be considered a Marathon it must be at least 42.195km. In comparision to the UNICON marathon the course in Duisburg is flat and there is no dirt road either.

Nevertheless, 1:39 is an incredibly fast time. My Congrats to Christoper Hartel for this achievement.


Many thanks for all your Help and answers.
Mayumi send me an Email today and she is very sure that Daiki keeps the world record for the 42.195km in 1h38m23s (unlimited category) on May 3, 2005.

The distance is normaly used for classical full Marathon. Christopher do his record in Düsseldorf / Germany on a classical and traditional Marathon track with official meassured size and time. They offer a class for unicyclist since some years.

I think it is much more easy to run together with a classical marathon than to set up a special Marathon at a Unicon. It is not that easy to close all streets and to measure exactly …

More informations about the Duesseldorf Marathon you find here

There are a lot of official timed and meassured marathons all over the world, maybe it could be a good thing to contact some of them by the IUF to recomand them to make also a unicycle class.

Hang on… That’s ~43km in 1hr42min on a 24"/125mm? That’d be averaging about 15mph on a 24" … really? Or did I misunderstand? Because if he did that I’m … scared and impressed!

Yes some people can ride 24" so fast it’s scary. In the unicon marathon I, on a schlumpf geared 36", got smoked by a kid on a pretty stock looking 24", it was an incredible sight.

Strewth! OK…

I’ve always found it’s surprising just how fast one can go on a small wheel / long cranks but I’ve never found it remotely sustainable for a super short sprint. My (possibly overestimating) cycle computer clocked me at 15mph briefly on a 29"/150mm setup, but I couldn’t have sustained that for more than a very short distance - even then I was not very stable.

Doing that for a marathon length race is insane… Makes me wonder what would happen if you put one of these people on a 36" :wink:

+1 on that, Mark. It’s amazing & beautiful to watch a really good uni rider!

much faster

Mayumi was so kind to make a more detailed research and send me the results of a 2007 Japanese Marathon.

First Place:
Record [B]1:32:47/B
0:43:57( 20kmPost), Name-Yuta Sugawara, Age-15, Unicylce-700C with 50mmCrank

Second Place:
Record [B]1:34:05/B
0:43:59( 20kmPost), Name-Daiki Izumida, Age-28, Unicylce-700C with 89mmCrank

more information you can find here

So 1:32:47 h should be the actual world record I think.