The season finale is here! Wendover Woods 50 is back for the fifth time, after the cancellation of this race in 2020 due to the pandemic, some runners have been waiting a long time for this opportunity.
Conditions look excellent, with forecasted temperatures in the 8-11 degree range throughout Saturday, low winds and what will be an amazing day in the woods.
This race is not only the end of the 2021 Grand Slam of 50s but also the 2020 Grand Slam. 30 have waited since November 2020 to finish their Grand Slam, having started it in April 2020. 53 additional Slammers will finish the 2021 Grand Slam if they al make it to the finish within the 15 hour cut off.
Our final preview of the year focuses on the likely contenders for overall positions in the men's and women's races.
Rachel Fawcett: Rachel has had a really consistent string of results since entering the sport. In 2017 she won the Chiltern Wonderland 50 and took third at the SDW100. In 2018 she finished fourth in all four of our 100s, going on to the Grand Slam. She improved on that in 2019 when she cleared up in the 50 mile slam, including a second at this event and another win at Chiltern Wonderland. Earlier this year she won the Jurassic Coast 100. She is definitely the one to beat here.
Rachel Fawcett (Photo: Stuart March Photography)
Claire Kanja: Claire was second at the Night 50km here back in July. In 2020 she finished second at the Autumn 100, which followed an 8th and a 6th there over the preceding years. Her improvement has been great to watch.
Dominique James: Had an incredible 2020 with third place at all three of our 100 milers.
Samantha Lloyd: Sam was fourth here in 2018 and in 2019, chalked up a third at the SDW100 and fifth at the Chiltern Wonderland 50.
Rachel Lindley: 15th here in 2019, but has four top tens across the NDW50 and SDW50 to her name which suggests she can go a lot better here this time.
Karen Doak: Karen won the Chester Ultra 100 mile earlier this year and has previous experience both of this course and going super long.
Teresa Reason: Winner of the Pilgrims Challenge in 2019, the Chiltern Ridge Ultra in 2020 and eighth at this years NDW100.
Paula Williams: Paula is on her way to the Grand Slam and has a fifth at the SDW50 and a sixth at the CW50 in September. Her NDW50 was a little slower.
Kerry Cooper: Right behind Paula at each of the 50s so far, it's a very close battle at the top of the Grand Slam 50 table.
Charlie Harpur: Charlie hasn't raced since 2019 as the pandemic and cancellation of international championship events wiped out the calendar. But, he is back. In 2019 he became British 100km Champion with a 6:44 over the distance in Perth. He also placed third at the highly competitive Ultra Vasan and won both the Beacons Ultra and Gloucester 50km (2:59:59!). Centurion fans will remember him from his 2018 win at the SDW100 in 15:01. Running for our Ultra Team in 'The Real Yellow Jersey' we are so delighted to see him back.
Charlie Harpur (Photo:@runningisdead)
David I'anson: Past winner of the Oner, won the Druids Ridgeway Challenge in a solid time in 2019. Coming off the back of an 8th at UTS 100km, a super tough course, back in September.
Matthew John: Third at Lakeland 50 back in 2016 but the owner of a 2:28 marathon PB back in the day. As a North Leeds Fell Runner he will surely have some hill legs too.
Tom Ridsdale: Won the Thames Trot in 2020 in 6:11, alongside a 2:39 marathon in the same year, on the road.
Mark Shannon: Eleventh and eighth here in the past but has finished as high as third in the Night 50km over this same course in July.
Rhys Roberts: Third at this years Chiltern Wonderland 50 in 7:46.
Follow all of the action live here from 0930 on Saturday 6th November.
This weekend is the finale of our 100 mile season. It'll be our sixth 100 of 2021 and the last one in the Grand Slam of four trail 100s. Our staff and volunteers love this race, because they get to see runners coming and going throughout the entire event. The cross shaped format of four, twenty five mile out and backs makes it a unique set up amongst our races.
This year, we welcome what are relatively deep fields for both the mens and womens events, given that we only allow a maximum of 250 starters here. It is probably our fastest 100 mile course (with the exception of the Track 100 of course) and this year conditions are about as good as they are ever going to get. The trails are in good shape, the weather forecast is for a dry weekend, with low winds and with temperatures at an ideal 10 - 15 degrees throughout, will we see records tumble?
This is a runners course. There are no hills to speak of and one of the major challenges for the front runners is running well over the long distance, without the hike breaks you would typically factor in on 100 mile trail routes. We have some really fast runners down for this one!
Rob Turner: Rob comes in with the right formula of tremendous 100km road speed plus trail pedigree and makes him potentially the outstanding contender for this one. He was British 100km Champion in 2018 running 7 hours flat at Redwick, going on to represent GB at the format later that year. Then in 2019 he ran faster again, going 6:51 for the distance, finishing second behind our own Ultra Team member Charlie Harpur. His has had wins and podium finishes on the trails around Scotland where he is based, including at the Glen Ogle 33, Devil o' the Highlands and the River Ayr Challenge. This looks to be his first 100, so there is still a reach here.
Jacob Snochowski: La Sportiva Team runner Jacob began running ultras in 2015. Based in the Lakes, prior to 2020, his best results included wins at the Cumbria Way Ultra, Hardmoors 55 and Grand Tour of Skiddaw. Last year he had a superb run at the classic Hardmoors 110 where he set a new course record of 19:45. Then back in May of this year, he took the win at The Lap - Windermere over a really solid field. This will be his first outing at a flat trail 100 but he has prior experience of flat trails too, having done well at the Canalathon over 100km.
Jacob Snochowski (Photo c/o Steve Ashworth Media)
Peter Abraham: A super run at Battersea 24hr just four weeks ago, clocking 14:37 for 100 miles before going on to 231km total. Is four weeks enough recovery for him? Other stand out results include third here in 2017 in 15:57 and fifth at the SDW100 earlier this year.
Pete Windross: Mr. Consistent in 2021 looks to extend his run of 4th (TP100), 1st (SDW100), 3rd (NDW100) and round out a Grand Slam victory for the year. He won't challenge John Melbourne's 61:38 total time as he'll need a 13:01 to do so, but, he will certainly be looking at the second fastest cumulative time in history.
Ed Catmur: Running our events since day one, he won this race back in 2013. He will be going for finish number eight here and is still improving, with his best a 15:38 here last year for second. He is into well over 30 x 100 mile finishes now, making him one of the most experienced runners not only in the field, but in the UK.
Paul Russhard: On the scene since 2012 and has run many of our events. Best finishes include a second at both the NDW50 and the NDW100. 7th here in 2019 in 17:39 but he can go much quicker.
Julien Cazorla: Julien is having quite the year, with at least eight ultra finishes in 2021, finishing no lower than 7th in any of them (SDW50 back in April). His stand out runs were a sixth at the TP100 in May as well as a second here in Goring, at the Chiltern Wonderland 50 just four weeks ago.
Paul O'Sullivan: A varied collection of race finishes in his past including some races significantly tougher than this. UTMB, Moab 240 and Swiss Peaks 360 to name a few. He can also run on the flat however with a win at the Pilgrims Challenge this year back in June as well as plenty of top ten finishes at other shorter UK ultras.
Matt Duckett: Winner of the Devon Coast to Coast ultra (188km) in May this year.
Harry Geddes: 4th at the TP100 earlier this year in 15:31. Winner of the Thames Trot in 2020. 6th at Race to the Stones. Should know the course!
Matt Gallagher: 7th at the TP100 earlier this year in 16:21. Second at the Trot last year behind Harry.
Debbie Martin-Consani: Debbie is in the unique position of having won each of our 100s (including the TP100 twice), with the exception of just this one and Wendover Woods. She has run this race before, however, back in 2014 where she finished second. Debs is one of the most experienced and decorated ladies on the scene. She has represented GB in the 24hr format several times, won some of the more prestigious heritage UK events including Lakeland 100 and the GUCR. But has also raced some of the world's marquee ultras including UTMB, TDG and Spartathlon.
Holly Rush: Holly is without doubt the quickest runner in the womens race, having made the transition to ultras, from racing the marathon for GB at both the Commonwealth and European Championships - she ran 2:37 several times on her road running journey. But she hasn't lost much of that speed in recent years, she just clocked a 2:48 at London. Ultra wise, she remains our NDW50 course record holder. She has wins at events including Ultravasan, Dartmoor Discovery and the Cotswold Way Century where she set a course record also. She has also competed on the world stage, with a 7th and an 8th at CCC respectively. There is no doubt, that if things go well she will be shooting at the British 100 mile trail record, set on this course by Susie Chesher and possibly by a long way.
Wendy Whearity: Wendy has finished 18 of our 100 milers including this race seven times. Yet to win, but on the podium at most of them, Wendy stepped away for a few years as she made her way onto the GB 24hr team and represented her country twice with really solid performances each time. She is back racing having had a baby and it's fantastic to see her back here.
Bethan Male: Five ultra finishes, made up of four wins and a second place. Bethan won Lakeland 50 in 2019 firmly stamping her mark on the UK scene. This is her first race with us and looks to be her first 100 miler, it will be fascinating to see how she goes.
Linn Erixon-Sahlstrom: Linn is another experienced runner with a long list of ultra finishes, many of them wins. She has previously claimed victory at the Jurassic Coast 100 (twice), UTS 50 and CTS Sussex (twice).
The sixth edition of the Chiltern Wonderland 50 takes place this coming Saturday 18th September 2021. We always look forward to the autumn season here at Centurion, where our races tick down a notch in terms of logistics and field size. Our final three races are smaller, more intimate settings and always feel special.
The CW50 course is a single loop, which starts and finishes in Goring on Thames. The route travels through remote valleys, over rolling hills, takes in quaint villages and delivers some generally all round incredible trail running. Many runners return year after year to make the journey around the 'Wonderland'.
Here is a quick run down of the likely leading contendors in the men's and women's events this time out.
Live Tracking as always, is available here over race weekend.
Nicola Soraghan: Winner (and now course record holder) of this years Wendover Woods Night 50km.
Karen Hacker: Third at the 2021 SDW100, winner 2020 NDW100. Previously a best of seventh at this event but has podiums at Wendover Woods 50 and Race to the Stones to her name.
Maria Russell: A best of fourth place in 9:09 here on route to completing our Double Grand Slam in 2018.
Sarah Swinhoe: Second place at the Devil's Lite 50k, in May, on the South Downs Way. Marathon PB of 2:52. As a Vet 50 ran a 38:37 10km this year which puts her third for her age group in 2021 within the UK.
Rebecca Lane: Eighth here in 2020. A touch short for Rebecca. She has previously won our Grand Slam of 100s.
Neil Martin: Superb run at the Wendover Woods Night 50km in July for the win there. Has finished fourth here twice, with a best time of 7:09. Has a raft of other wins, podiums and top tens to his name at other competitive 50km - 50 mile distance events. This is right in his wheelhouse in terms of terrain, elevation and distance.
Julien Cazorla: Seecond at the Stour Valley 100km last month. Earlier this year he picked up seventh at the SDW50, sixth at the TP100 and then a fourth at the NDW50, all in the space of five weeks. Quite an impressive vein of form.
Tony Gavin: Third at Stour Valley 100km last month. Marathon PB of 2:40.
Craig Purle: Second place, behind Neil Martin, at the 2021 Wendover Woods Night 50km. This looks to be the longest he will have gone, to date.
Jordan Skelly: A first and a second at Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series events in 2020. Marathon PB of 2:25 making him comfortably the fastest runner on course this weekend.
Our first event back in 2011 returns for the eleventh Edition.
The starting field for this race is smaller than our other 100 milers, intentionally. But the operation is large with thirteen aid stations along the 103 mile route from Farnham to Ashford. Average finisher rates and times show that this is our toughest race, with the exception only of Wendover Woods 100 (and some of the Piece of String Fun Run events back in the day!).
This years field includes a few key runners who will likely be the key contenders for the overall men's and women's positions.
Geoff Cheshire: A familiar name now to many who have followed the front of our races over the last few years. Geoff has won the Chiltern Wonderland 50, run 14:31 for second at the Autumn 100 and in 2020 enjoyed a podium finish at the TP100. The last two SDW100's, Geoff has led until the dying stages. In 2019 he dropped at mile 96. This year, he almost dropped on the road into Eastbourne, but hiked it to the finish taking several hours to cover the last 5km. He will definitely want to nail this one.
Pete Windross: Past winner of the TP100, he is also the man who passed Geoff to win the SDW100 in June of this year. That followed a third place at the 2021 TP100. This will be his third of four events in an attempt to finish his second Grand Slam with us. He originally held the record for the four, before losing it to John Melbourne and he will need a strong run here to give himself a chance of staying in touch of it. Last year Pete led this race for two thirds having gone out hard before dropping out, so he like Geoff will be looking for a great race here on several levels.
Pete Windross (Photo: Stuart March Photography)
Norbert Mihalik: Incredibly talented Hungarian residing in Northampton. Norbert has twice finished just under 20 hours at this event, but he is capable of so much more. He has a 24hr PB of 259km, 100 mile times in the low 14 hour range on route to his last couple. With a new 12 Hour best of 149km set four weeks ago, he is in shape.
Matt Gallagher: Seventh at the 2021 TP100. Second at the 2020 Thames Trot.
Ed Catmur: Ed continues his path back to his best. He won this event with a then course record 15:44 in 2013. Since then he has been on the injury list but is now back close to his best. He was second at the Autumn 100 in 15:38 last October and this year has a fourteenth at the TP100 followed by a more recent third at the Jurassic Coast 100.
Jack Bromley: Fifth at the SDW50 back in April in 6:38. Second at the Windermere Marathon this year in 2:40.
Rebecca Lane: Rebecca has seven, top ten finishes at our 100 Milers. In all of our events, apart from this one where she took twelfth in 2019 as part of her Grand Slam. A drop at the WW100 last month may leave her hungry to retribution here!
Patricia Patterson: Patricia took third at the Spine Race in 2020. She has also previously won the Serpent Trail 100km and finished fifth at the Spine Challenger.
Maxime Lelong: Maxime was second at the Endurance Life Sussex Ultra earlier this year. She also took second at a couple of other 50km ultras in 2020, this looks to be her first 100 miler.
As always you can follow the race live here from 0500 on Saturday morning.
The second edition of both the Wendover Woods 100 Mile and Night 50km are upon us.
The 100 kicks off this Friday July 9th at 0800 and our small, hardy group of souls have 32 hours to complete 10 full laps of the 10 mile course. With 2000 feet of climb per loop, this is the toughest event we stage/ have staged. In the only previous edition of this race, we had 20 finishers from 45 starters, with only four women completing the course. We are expecting numbers to be close to identical this time.
The Night 50km begins between 2230 and 2300 on Saturday 10th July in a rolling start format and runners have nine and a half hours to complete three full laps. Many will be running their first ultra and it's such great fun for us to watch the race unfold around the course, with the woods closed to all other users and with the sunrise expected as the final runners begin their final loop.
Below is a quick preview of the main contenders for the overall positions.
WENDOVER WOODS 100: MEN
Stuart Leaney: There really is only one man to beat. Crowned the King of Wendover in 2019, Stuart finished the 100 here in 18:56. He is twice winner and course record holder of the 50 mile here too.
Alex Tate: Winner of three of the four ultras he has run. Alex also ran home fourth at the 2019 NDW100 in 16:54 which puts him 8th on the all time list for that race.
Paul Radford: Paul is coming up on eight years of solid performances across a variety of ultras. Stand out's are a sub 30 hour finish at Spartathlon and his 224km at Barcelona 24hr. He has finished second at the Ridgeway Challenge three times. But he also has the pace over shorter distances too. He knows this loop well as this is home turf for him.
Kevin Shannon: Another local, Kevin knows this loop really well having placed joint third at the Night 50km here in 2019 and 6th at the 50 mile in 2018. He's had lots of really solid results over distances from 50km right up to 100 miles with strong finishes at events like UTMB and NDW100 in his resume.
Mark Shannon: Usually runs with his brother Kevin above, at the Night 50km he was joint third with him and then went on to run home in the top ten in the 50 mile as well. A similar resume to Kevin across the long events.
Other front runners: Andrew Mckillop has had some good results at the 50 mile on this course plus a lot of 100 mile experience and dropped out late last time in the 100 here. Look for him to be consistent this time. Tom Sawyer is another super experienced runner both on this course and at the longer stuff. 8th at the 50km here in 2019. 5th at the GUCR being the stand out.
Stuart Leaney (Photo; Stuart March Photography)
WENDOVER WOODS 100: WOMEN
There are just seven women in the starting field. But they are unsuprisingly some of the most experienced regulars from our events and whom are extremely consistent.
Rebecca Lane: Our 2019 Grand Slam 100 mile Champion. Many top ten finishes in our 100's but also at shorter distances. Has twice finished the 50 here too. So has the long experience and the course experience combined.
Ally Whitlock: Has already claimed fourth place at both the SDW50 and SDW100 this year. Previously 10th in the 50 here in 2019.
Magda Strycharska: Made big improvements in 2019 running home fifth at the Autumn 100 and sixth at the Chiltern Wonderland 50. Magda won Endure 24 in 2018. Has also run the 50 here before.
Ally Whitlock (Photo; Stuart March Photography)
WENDOVER WOODS NIGHT 50km
A field of 150 are expected to toe the line to go through the night.
WOMEN: In the women's race, Linn Erixon Sahlstrom is an experienced runner with plenty of good results at hilly and mountainous races. The elevation will prove no obstacle to her having raced competitively at UTS, UTMR and TDS amongst others. She has twice won the Jurassic 100. Krysia Smith recently finished 8th at the SDW100 and has a previous sub 20 hour seventh place at the TP100 to her name. She has also had good results at this distance including a podium finish at Hurtwood 50km.
MEN: Neil Martin is the stand out mens runner, our 2019 Grand Slam 50 mile Champion, he has finished in the top ten at the 50 mile twice and was sixth at this event in 2019. He has almost two dozen ultras to his name, the majority in the 50km to 50 mile range, on trail and almost every one involves a top ten finish. Chris Collins whilst less experienced than Neil, was fifth just ahead of him in 2019 and runs again here.
Follow both events live via www.centurionrunning.com/live - pages will be published just prior to the event. Runners of both events will carry trackers so you can watch the racing unfold as it happens.
The 2021 South Downs Way 100 is expected to have between 420 and 450 starters and in the process become our largest ever starting field. As part of a big field, the depth of competition is substantial.
The longest standing record at our events is still Jean Beaumonts women's course record here, of 16:56 in 2013. Done, in her words, on almost no training! Are we finally going to see it taken down?
The weather looks perfect for volunteers and staff, but warm for runners with a high of 25 degrees forecast and not a lot of wind. That will need to be factored in to everybodys pace strategy for best results.
A huge shout out to the 19 Grand Slammers who are finishing off their 2020 elongated slam at this event after this race was cancelled due to lock down, last November. The 19 hardy souls and their times so far can be found here.
Mel Venables: 2016 British 100km Champion. Winner 2020 NDW100. Has already won the GUCR in 2021 which just a couple of weeks ago is a short turn around time. Lots of wins and podiums at shorter ultras.
Karen Hacker: Winner of the 2019 NDW100. Podium finishes at Wendover Woods 50 and all three 'Race to the' Events over the last 4-5 years.
Dominique James: Finishing off her Grand Slam from 2020 here, she finished third in each of the first three - all three of the 100s we held in 2020.
Allie Bailey: Also completing her Grand Slam journey here. She finished 5th, 4th and 5th in the three 100s of 2020.
Karen Doak: Three finishes here with a best of sixth place. Fifth at the 2019 NDW100.
Mandy Regenass: Has a second and third at the SDW50 in 2017 and 2018 amongst other solid performances.
Krysia Smith: Seventh at the TP100 in 2019 in a sub 20hr time.
Emily Dixon: Third at Country to Capital this year in 5:55. Winner Imber Ultra 40 miler in 2020.
Rob Payne: Team GB 24hr runner. First Tooting Bec 24hr with a 100 mile split of 14:19. First NDW50 2019. Second WHW Race and NDW100 2019. 76th at this event in 2017 in a time just under 24hrs!
Geoff Cheshire: First at Race to the Stones and Chiltern Wonderland 50. Second at the Autumn 100 in 14:31 and third at the TP100 in 2020. Geoff led here for 90+ miles in 2019 before dropping at the final check point at Mile 96.
Pete Windross: Has already finished third at the SDW50 and fourth at the TP100 in 2021. First at the 2020 Gloucester 24hr. Winner of the TP100 in 2018 in his (at the time) Grand Slam record setting year when he went on to 5th, 6th and 3rd at our other three 100 milers. Has three finishes here with a best of 16:38.
Paul Russhard: Second at the NDW100 in 2018. Half a dozen top ten finishes at our 50s including a second at the NDW50 and in late 2020, his most recent result a sixth at the SDW50.
Peter Abraham: Third at the Autumn 100 in 2017 in under 16 hours. Winner at Connemara and the Canalathon 75km in years past.
Peter Jackson: Second at the TP100 in 2018. Winner of South Wales 100 in 2019. 28:57 at Spartathlon 2019.
Max Rusby: Second at Kennett and Avon Canal Race in 2019 and has posted two wins at shorter ultras.
Daniel Weller: Winner of the Chiltern Ridge Ultra Trail 50km this year. Third at Wendover Woods 50. First at Beacons Ultra 50. 8th at SDW50 in 2018.
Matt Gallagher: Seventh at TP100 in 16:21 in May this year.
James Hurrell and Jack Galloway relatively new to the ultra scene but both good road runners with 2:34 marathons apiece.
FOLLOW THE RACE
You can track all the action live on our tracking page here. The race kicks off between 0430 and 0600 Saturday morning in a rolling start. Thank you so much in advance to the 120 volunteers that will make this race all that it is.
This race was postponed in 2020 from May to November and then cancelled when the November lock down was introduced. So some of the runners on the start line will have been waiting almost two years to run. It will be such a relief to get this, what was our first event back in 2011, back on again.
The womens field in particular this time, looks really exciting, with a good depth of competition. The mens race has one stand out competitor with several of the leading contenders sadly pulling out in recent weeks due to injury, including Tom Evans and existing course record holder Jon Ellis.
The conditions underfoot at the moment are sticky in places but generally good going - the softer ground is actually a blessing on some of the steeper descents. A mixed week of lower than average temperatures, some rain and some sun gives a little uncertainty over what will be the case on Saturday but it looks unlikely to be blazing hot which often has the biggest impact on times.
Samantha Amend: Sam will be familiar to many as having recently broken the British 100 mile record at our Track 100, running 14:34 for a new all time best mark. Her background in road and ultra running is really too long to list out but the most impressive element is her consistency over the past 10-12 years despite being a prolific racer across all distances. PBs other than the 100 mile record include 220km for 24hrs, 7:53 for 100km, 3:28 for 50km and a 2:42 marathon as well as high standards in shorter marks. She has twice won our TP100 and has the course record there in 16 hours flat. She has several England and GB vests to her name. She is no stranger to hillier trail too and it will be fascinating to see what she can deliver here, relatively soon after the Track effort.
Sam Amend at the 2021 Track 100 (Steve Ashworth)
Rachel Normand: The La Sportiva athlete from Carnethy burst onto the scene in 2018 with some stellar results including an 8:22 for the win at the Highland Fling, second at Lakeland 50 and then two other local ultra wins to cap it off. She had a great 2019 with wins at CTS Exmoor and Ennerdale Trail. Internationally she placed 15th at Laveredo and 17th at TGC both super runs. Due to the pandemic she hasn't raced since, so this marks her return.
Gill Bland: 7:53 here in 2018 for third place, but the sixth fastest time we have had on this course in the nine prior editions. Her road running background is impressive, with a decade of experience, a raft of sub 3 hour efforts including most recently a 2:55 at the Cheshire Elite Marathon in April 2021.
Michelle Maxwell: Michelle ran away winner here in 2017 in a time of 8:26. Since then she has finished second in both the TP100 and SDW100 and in 2020 took home the win at the final event of the season - the SDW50 - in 8:15.
Michelle Maxwell won here in 2017 (Stuart March)
Rachel Lindley: 7th and 5th here in the past with a course best of 8:39
Katy Ward: A consistent marathoner over the last decade, with a PB of 2:58 and a 1:22 for the Half.
Ry Webb: Ry ran our first ever event, on this course in 2011 coming home 12th in 9:18. Since then he has been on both sides of the table a multitude of times and has improved his running substantially in the process. He's come very close to winning one of our events so many times, could this finally be where he takes home a trophy? He lives locally and with this his back yard he will surely want to go all the way this time. His bests include second here in 2016 in 7:05. He then ran the Grand Slam of 50s the following year, finishing second, third, third and third in the four events, in the process his NDW50 time sneaked in under the 7 hour mark with a 6:58. In 2019 he showed he had the speed on the track too, finishing the inaugural Track 100 in a superb 13:24 for second place.
Ry Webb on his way to second at the Track 100 in 2019 (Jack Atkinson)
Lyndon Cooper: Lyndon has wins at the Maverick X-Series Ultra Snowdonia and the West Country Hilly 50 mile behind him as well as several top 5s and top 10s at other ultras ranging from 50km through to 85 miles including Wendover Woods 50 and the Ridgeway Challenge.
Julien Cazorla: Seventh at the SDW50 in April, he then ran home for sixth at the TP100 just two weekends ago in 16:18. This one comes very soon off of the back of that, of course.
Mark Pinder: Has started out 2021 with a sixth at the SDW50 in a solid 7:07.
One special mention and that is for Chris Finill. Chris was a top GB athlete back in the 2000's with numerous GB vests to his name. He is also one of the few ever-presents at the London Marathon, having run every edition and as a MV60 in 2019 ran a sub 3 hour effort there. That marked the incredible achievement of having run a sub 3 hour marathon in 5 decades.
The race has a rolling start and kicks off off between 0530 and 0800 on Saturday 22nd May. Follow it live here.
Well we have just about recovered from seeing the Mens 100 mile World Record and Womens 100 mile British Records tumble at the Track 100 two weeks ago and are set to go with our first trail 100 of 2021. In fact the winner of the ladies race in the Track 100 Samantha Amend, will be volunteering at Wallingford check point which just goes to show how much support and community involvement goes into ultrarunning in the UK from athletes of every level.
We have no less than six former winners at our events across the Mens and Womens fields this weekend. It's wonderful to see such competitive race fields lining up for this event.
Dan Lawson: No matter the speed of anyone else behind him, Dan Lawson remains the man to beat at any 100 mile plus event in the land, especially on the flat. You could take the resume of the next nearest half a dozen athletes in the UK on road/ flat/ track events and add them together to get nowhere near what he has already achieved. His main highlights would be: European 24hr Champion and more recently running a new Lands End to John O Groats record which was captured on film. He has won and / or has the course record at Grand Union Canal Race (where his 100 mile split was well under 14 hours). Ridgeway 86. Ultrabalaton. Ultra Trail Gobi. EMU 6 day. Run the Rann 100 mile. Etc. Races he hasn't won but worth mentioning are his 2nd at Spartathlon and 3rd at Badwater. Dan will run with others and revel in the experience of being in a race again, spreading joy to all around him. But make no mistake, when it comes to the second half of the race, Dan comes into his own. His only downfall might be the fact that he's spent several days not eating this week. You can listen to the British Ultrarunning Pod latest episode here to get the inside exclusive.
Dan Lawson (Photo c/o Dave MacFarlane)
Richard Mcdowell: Won the SDW50 three weeks ago. Marathon best of 2:23 placing him first V40 in the championship start at the London Marathon 2019. Only other ultra experience to date some shorter FKT efforts, this will be his longest run to date. At the SDW50 he stated intention to look for a sub 13 hour finish so we could see some fireworks here!
James Williams: James was our 2018 Autumn 100 champ in a time of 15:18 and later that year went on to a second place at the Wendover Woods 50. After an unsuccesful attempt at Lejog he looks to have only raced once, a 5th at Country to Capital in 2020.
Justin Montague: A true stalwart of the scene and one of the nicest guys on the circuit. Justin was a prolific racer almost a decade ago, packing 2012 and 2013 with race wins, podiums and top tens. In fact he was 2nd at our second ever edition of the North Downs Way 100. He then went through some health problems and took a period out of the sport, before re-emerging with the same vigiour he showed before. Top results in more recent years include a win at Devon Coast to Coast, 2nd at the Ridgeway Challenge and wins at numerous XNRG multi stage events.
Pete Windross: Winner of this very event in 2018 with a 15:49 on route to a Grand Slam 100 mile crown. He has subsequently had some solid results at 24hr track events, and a third place at the SDW50 already this year.
Ed Catmur: Ed is coming back. Having been one of our most regular competitors and multi time champion at 100s over the years including a course record at the North Downs Way 100 and then the win here in 2014, Ed hit some injury woes and spent a long time running events but finishing well down the pack. Over the last couple of year, steady improvement has returned to the stage where in October 2020 he ran a 100 mile PB of 15:38 coming home second at the Autumn 100. He was also 6th at this event last year. Can he bring it back all the way again?
Sebastian Betouret: 5:33 at Country to Capital last weekend for 3rd. Experienced guy with nearly 10 years and 50 events of solid finishes at a wide range of events. 17:47 for 100 miles at Gloucester last year.
Sean Collum: 8th at Race to the Stones. 227km Suffolk Backyard Ultra. Finisher of Barkley Fall Classic in an impressive 9:22.
Simon Booth: Winner of the Robin Hood 100 in 2019 in 17:22.
Fumiaka Imamura: 50th at the NDW100 last year seems to be an anomalous result. This year he won the 47 mile Peddars Way Ultra. Past results include second at Hardwolds 80, 5th at SVP100km and two top 5s at the Stort 30.
Richard Wilson: 6th at the Autumn 100 last year
Julien Cazorla: 7th at SDW50 2021
Anna Troup: Anna's victory list includes races among the top tier of UK events including Lakeland 100, Arc of Attrition and of course Wendover Woods 100! Where she was our only sub 24hr female finisher. She struggled with injury issues in 2020, but we really hope she is back to full strength for this one.
Zoe Murphy: With just a couple of ultras to her name until 2020, she ran home for the win at last October's Autumn 100 in a time of 18:23.
Zoe Murphy on route to winning the 2020 Autumn 100 (Photo c/o Stuart March Photography)
Melissa Montague: Melissa is a super experiened ultra runner with a huge number of wins and podiums to her name. Alongside too many victories at XNRG multi stage events to count she has won the Ridgeway 86 (and finished second there twice in addition) and has a third at Autumn 100 to her name. Victories in shorter lower key ultras are too numerous to count.
Rebecca Ferry: Rebecca looks to have raced all over the world at some of the marquee ultras out there and had some excellent finishes. Most notable - In 2020 she won the Coastal Challenge Costa Rica. In 2019 she won Country to Capital.
Jennifer Sangster: 5th at the South Downs Way 100 in 2017 in 19:45 following a 4th place at the SDW50 that same year. More recently 5th at the Thames Trot 2020.
Karla Borland: Karla won the Weald Challenge 50km in 2018. Prior to that she was also second at Race to the King.
Lorna Spayne: Not too many ultras to her name but some super results in amongst them. Second at Race Race's 'The Wall' Ultra. Winner of Maverick's Ultra Peak District Last Year. Two top five finishes at Dark Star River.
Follow the race live from the link here including tracking of all runners every step of the way - 0700-0930 start on Saturday morning (link will go live closer to race day).
A field of 15 athletes will start the second edition of the Track 100 mile this Saturday which takes place at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. All have reached qualifying marks in prior events and will have 17 hours on the day to complete the distance. On route, splits will be taken at 50km, 50 miles, 100km, 6hr and 12hr. One or two athletes will be shooting for records or fast splits at those lower marks but most have the full 100 in their sights.
Conditions look dry and overcast and temperatures are a close to perfect 4-12 degrees across the day. The only negative factor is a moderate north easterly breeze that we hope won't interfere with the athlete's pacing too much.
We welcome a field of 4 women and 11 men to the race this year. Here's a quick run down of who will feature on the day. Remember to head over to our youtube channel to watch the live stream from 0600 Saturday morning.
Sam Amend (GB&NI International): Sam Amend has represented England from marathon through to 100k as well as GB&NI on numerous occasions, most recently qualifying to run as part of the 24hr team. In October 2020 the 2:42 marathoner ran an impressive 14:54 for 100 miles at Gloucester, missing out on the British all surfaces record by just 11 minutes. She will surely have her eyes set on 12 hour and 100 mile GB records on the day and seems well capable of achieving both if things go her way.
Sam Amend at the TP100 (Photo: Stuart March)
Ali Young (GB&NI International): Ali's best over 100 miles was her 16:29 split at Tooting Bec 24hr in 2015, an event at which she also qualified for the GB&NI 24hr team. She has since run in two European and two World 24hr Championships. She also has finishes at Spartathlon, GUC145 and MDS.
Jo Newens (GB&NI International): Jo has a 24hr PB of 221km, from Tooting Bec in 2019. The Scottish international clocked 16.45 for 100 miles in that same 24hr race in 2019. Over the last 12 months Newens has run a 19.39 100 miler at Gloucester 24hr race, but went through 50 miles in 7.38, and has also represented GB&NI at both virtual IAU 6hr Solidarity runs.
Sarah Sawyer: Sarah qualified for this event by running 208.6km at Bernau 24hr in 2020. Sarah also finished 4th lady at the 2019 Spartathlon in 30.37. Other notable achievements include race wins at Crawley 24hr, NDW50, Al Andalus Ultimate Trail and RTP Patagonia.
Sarah Sawyer finishing Spartathlon in 4th place (photo c/o Spartathlon)
Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania International) Our only international competitor, Aleksandr a resident of Vilnius in Lithuania arrived last week and has been training in quarantine indoors on a treadmill. Until Wednesday prior to the event when his test and release details came through and he was finally able to run outside once again. The current 24hr World Champion, Aleksandr was a sprinter kayaker in his youth. When he finished with sports he gained almost 100kg. One day at 32, he said enough was enough and took up running. He now specialises in 24hr running where his best performance has been that victory at the 2019 World 24hr Championships with a massive 278.97km. "I've wanted to run 100 miles for a long time. Last year James invited me, but the pandemic changed all plans. I think I'll be lucky this time."
Aleksandr Sorokin on route to becoming World 24hr Champion in Albi in 2019 (Photo: Norbert Mihalik)
Grant MacDonald (GB&NI International) Grant, 42, lives in Strathblane north of Glasgow. He qualified with his 24hr PB of 251.3km at Barcelona 24hr, which also earnt him a GB&NI selection for the World 24hr Championships in Albi in 2019. "This will be my first Centurion race. I'm looking forward to the fun of racing again and curious to see what I can do over 100 miles on a day where I don't have to continue to the 24hr mark."
Rob Payne (GB&NI International) Rob is from Lincolnshire and works as a Chemical Engineer. Rob qualified with 251.9km at Tooting Bec 24hr in 2019. He has also run twice virtually for GB&NI in the 6hr Global Solidarity events, running 54miles and 51miles. In addition, when the SDW100 was cancelled last year Rob ran a solo 100 instead and clocked an impressive 14.47.
Michael Stocks (GB&NI International) Michael has represented England at 100km and made the GB&NI team for 24hrs. His GB debut being in 2019 at the age of 50. After years of focusing on Comrades, he debuted at the 100 mile distance in 2017 winning the Thames Path 100. His fastest 100 mile came during Tooting 24hr when he passed that mark in 14.17 on the way to a final distance of 249km. Michael is also the author of "One Track Mind: What Running 150 miles in a Day Can Teach You about Life."
Andy Jordan: Andy Jordan ran our first CT100 back in 2019 where he ran a PB of 14.57.38. He bettered that at the Gloucester 24hr event last year where he covered the 100 mile distance in 14.24.03 setting a new MV55 world best. That has since been surpassed and he will want it back here. Andy also has a best distance of 220.496km for the 24hr event set back in 2016.
Andy on his way to a V55 World Best at his last outing at this event in 2019 (photo: Jack Atkinson)
Mark Innocenti: Mark qualified by winning the Autumn 100 last October. Mark ran a 2.31 marathon PB in Berlin and has finished numerous ultras, but he hadn't ran farther than 53 miles until he tried the Autumn 100 last year. "100 miles on a track is daunting and completely new territory for me."
Mark Innocenti on route to his debut 100 mile win at the 2020 Autumn 100 (Photo: Stuart March)
Stephen Marks: Having started running in his mid 30s, Stephen's first ultra distance race was the Lakeland 50. His first 100 mile finish was in 2015 at Centurion's Thames Path 100. Stephen qualified for this event at the Autumn 100 in 2019 running 15.21. "I'm hoping to chop a decent chunk off that time on the track."
Joe Turner: Joe qualified for this event by running 2.23.37 in the 2019 Valencia marathon. Joe's first ultra attempt was at the 2020 Gloucester 24hr event, posting 83.6km through the 6hr mark and 7.13.18 for 100km. "Unfortunately I had to pull out of that event due to injury, but looking forward to another go at the Centurion Track 100."
Jason Porter: Jason started running five years ago and has focused his efforts on the marathon, where he has a best of 2.26 set at the end of 2020. With the CT100 being his first competitive ultra race he is planning on racing one of the shorter splits before potentially returning next year to complete the whole 100 miles.
Mike Bisson: Mike Bisson qualified for the event with a 15.19 for a 100 mile event last year. Mike has a range of strong PBs from 5km through to 100 miles and has also competed at many of our Centurion events over the years.
Rob Forbes: A course record at the Cotswold Way Century in 2018 followed by a 5th at Ultra Trail Cape Town and a 12th at TDS cemented Rob's place at the top table amongst UK Ultra Runners. He has a marathon PB of 2:37 and perhaps most impressively holds the double buggy marathon world record with 2:43. He will be looking to combine his road speed and trail endurance experience for the perfect outcome here.
The 2021 season begins this weekend with the South Downs Way 50, which by a twist of covid related fate also happened to be the last event of the 2020 season.
We are delighted to be bringing live tracking to all of our events this year. The new interface will allow those at home, or crewing the event to follow their runner every step of the way, simultaneously improving event safety.
The womens race in particular looks wide open for the season opener.
Sarah Hill: Sarah has finished a lowest of 2nd place in any of the ultras listed against her name. Wins include Race to the Stones 100km, Fox Ultra (twice) and a clean sweep with our friends at XNRG events of: Pilgrims Challenge, Druids Challenge and the Isle of Wight Challenge (twice). Away from ultras she has extremely consistent road results too with plenty of sub 3 hour marathons to her name as well as great showings at shorter distances.
Caroline Farren: Caroline was 7th here in 2016 and has top ten finishes at Liverpool to Manchester 50, New Forest 50km and Ladybower 50 behind her.
Debra Bourne: Debra won the NDW50 all the way back in 2012, our second year of events. After many consistent and prolific years of racing all distances, Debra rediscovered some great form in 2020 and placed 4th at the NDW100 and 6th at the A100 whilst also recording a 6th place at CTS Sussex around the same area.
Jack Blackburn: Jack comes into this race as probably the favourite, having had a great run here in the past as well as many other solid results over the past six or seven years. In 2015 he ran home second at this event in a time of 6:29, still good for top ten all time on this course. In 2017 and 2019 he won Race to the King and has many other podium and top ten finishes to his name, mostly in the same distance range as this event.
Pete Windross: Peter has now strung together several years of really consistent results. He has often featured amongst the front runners at our events and indeed, has a win at the TP100 to his name. In recent years he has turned his hand to the track too and has won two 24hr events, at Gloucester in 2020 and Crawley in 2019. He was also our Grand Slam 100 mile champion in 2018 before that.
Toby Meanwell: Second at CTS South Devon in 2020 his only ultra finish to date, the runner from Lewes has a serious road pedigree behind him. With a Marathon PB of 2:39, he looks to have just clocked a 15:35 5km less than two weeks ago at Ardingly so he is clearly running well.
Richard Mcdowell: The faster runner in the field over the marathon with a 2:23 in London in 2019. Just three days ago he clocked 15:22 for 5km so like Toby above, brings in an awful lot of speed to this longer event.
Frederick Levy: Looks to have just four ultras behind him but with solid results. Wins at the Rebellion ultra (75 mile), Causeway Coast 40 mile and perhaps most impressively a 19th at Eiger Ultra Trail 101km - all in 2019.
James Mills: Plenty of solid results behind him including top ten finishes at the Chiltern Wonderland 50, Roseland August Trail Black Rat, Arc of Attrition 50 and Stort 30. A best on this course of 8:10 on this course looks sure to go this time.