Isle of Man 24h 2018 - Centurions1911

Centurions 1911
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Centurions qualifying race 2018
18th-19th August 2018
Athletics track, National Sports Centre, Douglas, Isle of Man

writes Graham Young:
Conditions were bright and breezy at the stroke of noon, as the Mayor of Douglas, Councillor John Joughin dropped the three-laggard national flag of the Isle of Man to dispatch representatives of seven nations on the first of their 402 x 400 meter laps of Manxland's National Sports Centre.
"Lull before a storm" could not have been more apt; as at midnight the tail end of Hurricane Ernesto struck, and struck hard. Nearly 7 mm of rain fell in the next hour, with a total of 8 mm over a five hour period. Winds averaged 28 miles per hour, with gusts of 6/7 on the Beaufort Scale

President’s Report on the 100 Miles in 24 Hours Event at the NSC, Douglas, Isle of Man
I am pleased to be able to report on a very successful track 100 miles/24 hours promotion on 18/19th August 2018 at the National Sports Centre, Douglas, Isle of Man.
From 23 starters, 13 completed the 100 miles (just one went on a bit further!). There would have been more finishers but for the overnight storm which caused several retirements. Well done to the 13 who showed great resilience in the most appalling conditions.  Five Belgian athletes took part, the largest ever group from their country and they all finished!
We enjoyed full civic support. The Mayor’s reception at Douglas Town Hall on the Friday evening was a memorable occasion and he also started the race on Saturday.  The staff at the NSC were most helpful.  The Douglas Yacht Club provided a good venue for the Technical Meeting (Friday) and the Sunday evening presentations and buffet. Mark Byrne C870 provided and presented the Manx Crystal Glass awards and I did the RWA (EA) medals.
The chip recording system was very satisfactory and the operators very helpful.  Security was good. Refreshments and support were very satisfactory. The overworked judges and officials did a great job.  Thanks to all concerned.
There was an excellent commentary during the race and a very nice video was produced.
Very well done to Graham Young C383 and his team!
Signed:  Eric Horwill, President, The Centurions 1911

In 2016, Dave Talcott (USA) gained Centrions status in his home New York State, enduring 36 degree heat for race victory, becoming American badge holder number 88.
Prior to the race, he declared the intent on becoming British Centurion number 1188, the next available number! He won again, but had strong winds in the opening stages, a misty humid spell to contend with for five hours overnight.
The former US Olympic trialist produced a master-class of pace judgement, with only the occasional drop in pace, when vigorously shaking his hands to off-set the numbness the conditions produced. His winning time, despite the adversities, was only 2 minutes slower than his Stateside one.

Dave's wife Erin, activist for equality for women in international walking, later admitted that she made an error by not donning wet-weather gear soon enough. However she did not concede retirement easily, and attempted to recover from hypothermia with shelter and sleep under cover fora period, but to no avail.
Richard Gerrard unfortunately was the first retirement, after circulating in company of fast starting Paul Jensen for numerous circuits.

Karen Chiarello right from the starters gun, and always held an  podium position in the overall race. At half way, she was ahead of the eventual winner, Dave Talcott, but strength sapping
conditions cost her preciousness energy.  A stop for a change into drier clothing may have cost Karen five minutes at that time, but contributed considerably to her comfort and chances of survival.  In winning the RWA Championship, her final time was three and a half hours faster than Jane Faquhar's Manx track record. Additionally, many of her split times may become ratified as Inaugural Manx Track Records. (pictured right KC ladies winner}

Jane's hubby, Dale's previous attempt to join the exclusive fraternity was scuppered when officials withdrew him during the race on medical grounds. This time, Dale settled to doggedly endure the discomfort of bleeding feet, and stoppages to attend to his insulin needs. Originally targeting the 24 hours category, he may have been a little surprised to find himself leading, and ultimately winning the RWA Championship, after the retirement of the defending champion, James Bassett !
Considered "Man Of The Match", he was awarded a special trophy for being "Combatif"!

Approaching fifty miles into the race, the British Record Holder for 100 kilometres track, Ed Shillibeer's gallant efforts were curtailed by the President of the Centurions, Eric Horwill in his capacity as race Referee. The 79 years-old; the most senior to finish a Parish, and who is still a practising veterinarian, had developed a severe list to starboard.
Graham Young on Facebook commented:  Seriously, though. I have the upmost respect for Ed'.s gallant efforts. Let's remember that he did not retire, and fought on despite his obvious discomfort, and it was the race referee that decided that he was doing himself more harm than good and curtailed his race!

Five Belgians started, and five finished. At one stage the were walking 'line-astern', reminiscent of a team trial cycling squad.
The fastest lap of the day was produced by Dutchman, Frank van der Guilk, as he sprinted to complete his hundred miles.  After a brief rest draped in a space blanket, he rejoined the fray, and was the only walker brave enough to continue beyond 100 miles. Thus won the 24 hours category, completing 422 laps.

Receiving her award for runner-up in the RWA Ladies Championship, Sandra Brown publicly declared "I enjoyed every minute of it. It was one of the most professional and well organised events I have done, and I have done  a few! A similar endorsement was voiced by Captain of the Centurions, Martin Fisher, after he completed his 28th Centurion Race.

Sandra wrote in the Australian Centurions Newsletter: "I really enjoyed the event: great friendly atmosphere, excellent organisation and good venue, and some sterling and gutsy performances especially in the weather conditions.. Although this wasn’t a 50kms event and we weren’t aiming at 50kms records, it gave an opportunity for 50kms marks to be automatically captured. Those for Jaap Visser and perhaps Ed Shillabeer could be national or higher records. My own 50kms mark in Douglas [6.12.08] is a national W65 best – I would have been faster in a 50kms race and faster at age 65 than now, but it’s good to have a mark any way...."
At short notice, Dot Tilbury, MBE provided commentary, in her unique style of humour, and held the fort until the late arrival of Chris Maddocks who had encountered travel difficulties. We were all honoured to have both of them to assist us.  Dot, amongst many other achievements, help coach Mark Cavendish as a junior. Chris Maddocks,  five times an Olympian, and more recently a NBC Broadcaster had spent many hours researching background data specifically for these events.
Thank you, everyone, who assisted in any way. I am deeply indebted to you all,
Graham Young C383.

The event produced the following eight new Centurions:
  • Dave Talcott   Centurion 1188
  • Paul Jansen, Centurion 1189
  • Ignace Matthys, Centurion 1190
  • Dale Farquhar, Centurion 1191
  • Kris Hazenbosch, Centurion 1192
  • Marco Bloemerts, Centurion 1193
  • Patrick Vandeweyer, Centurion 1194
  • Annic Deman, Centurion 1195
Full results -Race Walking Association National Long Distance 100-mile Championship:
1 Dave Talcott 18hr 55min 41sec;
2 Karen Chiarello 20:07.56;
3 Paul Jansen 20:52.45;
4 Ignace Matthys 21:00.06;
5 Frank van der Gulik 21:44.31;
6 Dale Farquhar 22:03.27;
7 Sandra Brown 22:05.01;
8 Kris Hazenbosch 22:12.58;
9 Marco Bloemerts 22:40.48;
10 Patrick Vandeweyer 22:45.31;
11 Chris Van Cauwenberghe 22:48.18;
12 Annic Deman 23:11.35;
13 Martin Fisher 23:43.52.

Ed Shillabeer writes:
This is my opportunity to mention - forgive me anyone not mentioned who has been one of my encouragers - Marie & Murray Lambden, Robbie Lambie, Graham Young, John Cannell, Michael George, Marie Jackson, Peter & Bridget Kaneen, and many others who ran the events and still cheered on this “foreigner”.  That welcoming attitude is also why most of the 9 new Centurions were not English, only one Manx, with winner C .1188 from USA  and Belgium 🇧🇪 and Nederlands making up the rest.   If ever an event epitomised why Centurions are truly an international athletic Brotherhood rather than just a club it was this one.
The massive cost of staging a 24 hours track race was personally paid for by Mark Byrne. The massive commitment and responsibility was overseen by Graham Young, my conqueror in the Stoke Mandeville 100km many years ago!  Steve and Tom Partington, international walkers, not only made a professional video of the race but had copies for all by the Sunday evening reception!  That high level of class was also reflected in the quality of time recording with up to date stats screens visible trackside and by the commentary box .  After a local lady’s opening stint, (apologies for not remembering her name), 2012 London Olympic walks commentator Chris Maddocks kept us all informed and played music people had requested with Martin Young doing those honours. Who better than a five times' Olympic competitor and multi-games commentator to tell me to get my chin up?  Unfortunately the encouragement wasn’t enough to prevent my “torso collapse” causing my retirement just short of 50 miles in 11:23ish! I learned later that I had just missed the deluge which caused John Constandinou to walk carrying a brolly! Swings and roundabouts!!
Hats off to all involved, especially the finishers and new Centurions.  I had an autograph book as a kid, not used much but one signatory wrote “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again- so Castletown 2019 here I come.

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