Based on the world record nomination from America Records Institute (AMRI) and Decision No. WK/USA.INDIA/1047/2023/No.503, World Records Union (WorldKings) officially declared Millan Ludena as "The world’s first person to run a half-marathon underground" on August 24, 2023.
Ecuadorian marathoner Millan Ludena always wanted to be a runner from when he was just a young boy. Encouraged by his girlfriend Carolina Bassignana, his family and friends, he grew up thinking he could be a champion at the sport.
Determined to show he had the stamina to run a difficult marathon he decides to run a ½ marathon underground at the lowest depth on Earth that’s possible. It took him to South Africa where he would attempt to complete the feat at the Mponeng Gold Mine. Ludena found Mponeng thanks to his girlfriend, Carolina Bassagnana, who was also his adventure partner. She had researched locales until she found the South African mine, a colossal monument to gold mining where 5,400 tons of rock were extracted daily.
The company operating the mine, AngloGold Ashanti, sent the couple a certificate that certified Mponeng was the deepest mine in the world, and allowed Ludena to face the challenge of running 21 kilometers (13 miles) underground. The track was designed in a space of 1 kilometer, which Ludena ran 21 times in two hours, 32 minutes.
He descended to a depth of 3,560 meters (11,680 feet about 2 and ¼ miles) below the surface and run the gold mining shaft until he reached 21 km (13 miles). To make it to the finish line, Ludena had to struggle against the elements underground -- 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) temperatures felt deep underground, a relative humidity of 80 percent and atmospheric pressure of 1.4, which is similar to what a diver feels five meters below sea level.
The determination of Ludena could be felt as he prepares for the marathon, his family and friends’ backing, and those that helped him get ready for the world record. He had trained several ways physically, nutritionally, psychologically and through physical therapy. All of these were what drive Ludeña to become the first and only person in the world to run 3,560 meters in two and a half hours, half a marathon.
According to aa.com.tr & acedmagazine.com