About Us > Centurion Achievements
Centurions are the most remarkable people
and the achievements of Centurion walkers are truly legend!
There are quite a few Centurions who are or have been Olympians. Or, converserly, Olympians who are Centurions! Olympians who have been Centurions include Frank O’Reilly (C276) (competing for Eire) who qualified in 1958 also on the Leicester to Skegness. See the list opposite.
Don Thompson (C631) (Olympic gold medallist at 50km in the 1960 Rome Olympics) qualified as a Centurion in 1978.
The latest Centurion who has competed in the Olympics is Dominic King (C1098). Dom competed in both the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
see the complete list opposite
Page 24 of the Centurions' Handbook mentions Frank O'Reilly becoming our first Centurion to gain Olympian status in 1960 (the Rome 50K Walk). This was taken from our 1997 edition, but has actually turned out to be incorrect as C175 Rex Whitlock was 4th in the 1952 (Helsinki) Olympic Games 50K Walk.
However, this has now proved to be incorrect as it has been discovered that the founder member of the Centurions, C12 William Brown appeared in the 1908 London Olympics in the 3,500 Metres Walk - a year after his 1907 100 miles' qualifying performance.
This came to light after correspondence from a relative of the late William Brown - who died aged 103, and who in December 1978 became our first - and as yet only - known Centurion to reach 100 years of age.
Centurion Dave Ainsworth reports on how it all came to light...
The 1962 RWA "The Sport of Race Walking" book fails to mention his Olympic appearance, But it came to light in an Olympic publication which mentioned 3 GB Olympians to reach 100 years of age, and was spotted by a relation of the late Mr.Brown. I've doubled checked records of the 1908 London Olympics and the 3,500 metres walk saw GB athletes George Larner & Ernest Webb gain gold & silver medals respectively. William Brown was our 3rd string walker - and was disqualifed in Heat 1 of this event. The 3,500 Metres Walk had 3 heats, before the final. But he competed - so is an Olympian."
Commonwealth Games Centurions
There are also Commonwealth Games Centurions including Ron Wallwork, Bill Sutherland....
There are also champions, world record holders, national and age category record holders amongst us....
Some of the fastest 100 mile men’s times are set out below:
Time Name Event
16:31:38 Jan DE JONGE Bergen 10/11 April 1982
16:50:28 Richard BROWN Sint Oedenrode 22/23 May 1993
16:54:15 Frank O'REILLY Leicester-Skegness 01/02 July 1960
16:55:44 John MOULLIN Ewhurst 25/26 July 1971
other notable achievements:
- In 1977, for the first time in British 100 miles history, women were allowed to compete on equal terms with the men and the first Centurion qualification by a woman was achieved by Ann Sayer (C599) at the Bristol 100. In fact, Ann had become a Continental Centurion earlier that year in St. Odenrode finishing in a time of 21 hours and 46 minutes;
- Eddie McNeir (C375) completed 10 Centurion events between the ages of 65 and 75 after whom a trophy is named for the first man over 65 to complete 100 miles;
- John Moulin set the fastest Centurion qualifying time of 16.55.44 in 1971.
- Dave Boxall recorded six wins
- Richard Brown has won a record ten Centurion events
- Sandra Brown has completed 26 UK 100 miles, and 41 Centurion races around the world, and has won the UK ladies 100 miles event 25 times. Sandra became the first person to achieve all seven worldwide Centurion awards.
the over 70s
Amazingly there are a number of race walkers who achieve their Centurion status when they have reached the magical age of 70 or over. And even continue to complete 100 miles in 24 hours.
See the list of the "super vets" compiled by Gerrit de Jong
Contact: Kathy Crilley C.933 if you know of other records and achievements
C12 Bill Brown (Polytechnic Harriers)
1908 London Olympics 10 Miles' Walk (disqualified).
1908 London Olympics 10 Miles' Walk (disqualified).
C175 Rex Whitlock (Metropolitan WC) Brother of Harold Whitlock MBE
1936 Olympic 50K gold medalist.
1952 Helsinki Olympic 50K - Rex came 4th.
C276 Frank O'Reilly (Lozells Harriers)
Competed in the 1960 Rome Olympic 50K for Eire.
C376 John Kelly (Millrose AA)
1968 Mexico Olympic 50K Competed for Eire (did not finish).
C631 Don Thompson MBE (Metropolitan WC)
Gold medalist in the Rome Olympic 1960 50K.
C778 Brian Adams (Leicester WC)
1976 Montreal Olympic 20K.
C1064 Ian Richards (Steyning AC, formerely Metropolitan WC)
1980 Moscow Olympic 50K.
C1098 Dominic King (Colchester Harriers)
2012 London Olympic 50K
2016 Rio Olympic 50K (DQ'd in the latter).
Centurions in depth
the super vets
Athletes who achieve their Centurion status when they have reached the magical age of 70 or over. And even continue to complete 100 miles in 24 hours.
- 1877 to 2017, 94 Centurion qualifying events have been held in the UK.
- In 2017 last number awarded was C1187
- Centurion qualifying events have been held annually (except during the two world wars when competitions were suspended) and now incorporate the RWA long distance championship.
- 17 of the 94 events held to 2017 have been track races.
- Dominic King (C1098) who qualified at Colchester in 2012 alongside his twin brother Dan (C1100) are the first twins to become Centurions
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