An ultra-endurance world champion from Ghent


No human being had ever run more than 500 kilometres in one go, but Karel Sabbe from Ghent has just broken the world record for this extraordinary discipline after racing for 75 hours without stopping once.

This feat was accomplished during the Big Dog's Backyard Ultra. This race is usually held in Tennessee in the United States, but this year (due to the coronavirus) was contested simultaneously in each country on a similar 6.7 kilometre course. Participants had to complete each circuit in less than an hour for as long as possible. Since 2018, the record had been held by Swede Johan Steene, with 68 loops in 68 hours, or 455 kilometres non-stop. 

Two Belgians have thus succeeded in pushing the known physiological limits of the human being even further. Karel Sabbe and Merijn Geerts both broke the world record at the Kasterlee military base (province of Antwerp), where the course for the Belgian competitors was laid out. But it was Sabbe, a Ghent dentist originally from Waregem, who proved to be the hardier of the two and now has the title of The Last Man Standing. 

Accustomed to records on other mythical trails of at least 100 kilometres, he now becomes the world champion of this extreme discipline after covering 503 kilometres (75 laps) in 75 hours.