Some of the entrants have provided accounts of their walking experience and objectives.
Colin Moore (not to be confused, he says with his namesake of Bingley Harriers fame) first entered in the Parish Walk in 1999, reaching Peel (32 miles) and has taken part each year since, with a best performance of Maughold (67 miles) in 2015.
This year though he is having to miss the event due to his Goddaughter Charlotte’ concurrent wedding in Dubrovnik, so is delighted that the Middlesbrough event is taking place with a couple of extra months available for training!
Previous involvement with the event has been restricted to four appearances in the accompanying 20 miles distance; namely the 2013 Starlight Stroll at the N.S.C. Douglas, 2015 at Castletown (finished 6th), 2017 at Bury St. Edmunds (B.M.A.F. 55-59 age group winner), and 2019 (again at Castletown, though different course).
Having recovered enough from a couple of T.I.A.s in 2020 to reach Jurby (45 miles) in last year’s ‘Parish’ he is looking forward to a new challenge plus being on the same starting line as some outstanding long distance walkers, and is hoping for cool conditions on the day!
My name is George Wallace. I have been running since I was twelve and enjoyed the experience. I have run the New York Marathon five times and the Boston Marathon once. My running started to get interrupted by injuries regularly. I stopped running and started race walking after being talked into taking part in Walk the Walk for breast cancer. I did quite well in Walk the Walk and got in touch with a local athletics club Aldershot, Farnham, and District where I was taught how to race walk properly. It took my coach a while to stop me running and start race walking properly. In my younger years, I was coached by an ultra-marathon runner. The lure of the ultra-marathon has always been quite strong, and once I got settled into race walking the idea of doing ultras raised its head again. Am looking forward to doing the 50-mile training walk around Richmond Park and speaking to ultra-marathoners.
Justin Scholtz C1173
Justin is a 47 years old Australian and has completed 17 Centurions, including all six of the currently available official Centurion races around the world with wife Sharon (Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Continental, African).
Together with Sharon, he first completed the UK centurion at Bury St Edmunds in August 2017. This was the fifth of six world centurions for the pair with their final event (and Justin’s tenth centurion overall) being the African centurion in 2018.
Justin has a personal best time of 19 hours 43 minutes for 100 miles and a best 24 hour distance of 189.678km. If all goes to plan, Justin is aiming to achieve his fifth Centurion for 2022 at the UK event and become the most prolific Australian centurion with 22 successful finishes. He plans to walk strongly, but is only interested in successful completion of the distance, rather than a fast time, partially as he and wife Sharon will have had limited walking training leading into the event as they will likely have been cycling in Europe on their tandem bicycle for a few months in the lead up.
Jonathan has been race walking since childhood and is a second generation race walker. His father, Chris, has had various successes, particularly as a veteran, but has (so far) made two unsuccessful attempts at the 100 miles – one of which was somewhat hindered by the carbon monoxide poisoning from a fault in the campervan he was resting in. Jonathan likes fresh air.
Until recently, Jonathan has focussed primarily on the 50km walk since becoming the youngest ever winner of the RWA championship in 2014 and won for a second time in 2018, making him the reigning champion due to the dormancy of that event. Joining the Brotherhood of Centurions has been a long-time ambition and this will be Jonathan’s first attempt.
Ray Sharp, 62, from Washington state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, has competed in race walking and running across six decades. A national junior champion in 1978, Sharp was one of the fastest American race walkers of the 1980s. He won 21 U.S. senior titles at distances ranging from 2 miles to 100 kms, the first of those in March 1980 and the most recent in October 2018, a span of more than 38 years, and raced in multiple World Athletics championships, walking world cups and Pan American cups.
Ray primarily competes in running races and triathlons now, but he did train for race walking for a few months in 2018 and won two gold medals and a silver in the walks at the World Masters Athletics meet in Malaga, Spain.
Sharp’s fastest 20 km walk was 1:24:58 in 1986, he set world indoor bests at one mile and two miles in 1983, and his American record at 3000m, 11:16, has stood unchallenged for 38 years.