What is a Centurion?
The "official" defintion is....
“A Centurion is one who, as an amateur, has walked 100 miles within 24 hours in a competition held in Great Britain.”
This definition has evolved over the years and there are now certain criteria attached to what the Centurions expect of the race organisation of a 100 mile/24 hour race.
Centurions 1911 - who we are
Centurions 1911 is not a club and the rules to qualify as a Centurion are:
- an "applicant" must have fulfilled the performance criteria set both by the Centurions and the Race walking Association (RWA). This is to walk 100 miles in a 24 hour time limit in accordance with racewalking rules.
- the application must be unanimously accepted by members at a general meeting where the athlete would then be "invited" to become a Centurion. This "process" has not changed much over the years, except that these days, walkers who have finished the race in the qualifying time are normally awarded their Centurion number on race day at the awards presentation.
- membership numbers are awarded in strict sequential order of qualification/election.
The Centurions do not have a "Constitution" with fixed "Rules and Regulations". We do, however, have a Committee to ensure that the "Brotherhood" continues and that our 100 mile qualifying races are well organised according to the standards which we expect of a 100 mile/24 hour event. This also includes the standards set by the RWA
100 mile qualifying races
Traditionally over the years, there has been a "rota" of clubs who have hosted the 100 miles. Nowadays, many of the clubs no longer have the resources and some clubs, such as London Vidarians, have ceased to exist. Surrey Walking Club, renowned for it long and ultra distance members, generally host the race every four or five years and their last race was held at Lingfield in 2011.
Other clubs have stepped forward in recent years - Colchester Harriers, Southend AC, Redcar WC, Isle of Man/Manx walkers ... to name just a few. These races are recognised as qualifying by the Centurions (usually at the AGM) as long as they satisfy the appropriate criteria.
In 2019, the Isle of Man Manx Harriers race walkers are preparing to replicate their hugely successful race in Castletown held in 2015.
Enormous gratitude is owed by all walkers to those clubs which, over the years, have organised qualifying races, and to all those officials, timekeepers, judges, lap recorders, feeding station helpers, and supporters who devote their weekends to making such events possible.
In 2017, the Centurions took the step of affiliation to England Athletes to ensure that the Centurions movement continues well into the future. One of the main benefits of affiliation is the ability of the Centurions to organised their own events.
More on the Centurions
More on race walking
and further afield...