“A Centurion is one who, as an amateur, has walked 100 miles within 24 hours in a competition held in Great Britain.”
There are also criteria that organisers of a 100 mile/24 hour race should adhere to and the Centurions must approve.
Centurions 1911 – the name of our organisation in Great Britain
Centurions 1911 is not a club and the rules to qualify as a Centurion are quite simple:
- a race walker 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 the current RWA 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 ie finishing time within the 100 mile race.
The Centurions do not (at present) 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.
Funds are raised entirely through voluntary contributions plus any profits from sales of merchandise. Our limited funds are used solely for administrating our affairs so donations to support organising the annual 100 mile are always gratefully received.
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 RWC, Isle of Man/Manx walkers … to name just a few. These races are recognised as qualifying races 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 replicated 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 the qualifying races and also 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 affiliating 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 organise their own events.