2020 Summer Newsletter

Centurions Summer 2020 Newsletter

Hello to all Centurions and welcome to the Summer 2020 update.  It has been good to know that despite the current restrictions due to COVID-19, many of us have continued training and been determined to maintain their race walking fitness by participating in ‘virtual’ races.   Continue reading for updates from the President, Captain and Social Walks Secretary.


President Pam Ficken C 934


I hope you and your families are all keeping safe and well. Sadly no events have taken place since March ,and at the moment we still do not know when anything can be held, The National 10K and Inter Area were cancelled this week.   It has been great to see many Centurions taking part in the Virtual events organised by Andi, John and Helen, and many thanks go to them for keeping interests going in the current situation.

Sadly we have lost Ann Sayer C599 to Covid-19. All would have read all she had achieved from rowing for England, walking the length of Britain, and many 100mile events at home and abroad. Ann was our President a few years ago and still attended Committee Meetings with her wisdom of many years. She will be greatly missed.

We also recently lost Doug Hopkins C347 and Ray Manning C415.  Doug had become a Centurion at the young age of 23 in the Brighton to London and back. After competing for many years, once retired he became a Coach and Judge.  Ray had qualified in the Leicester-Skegness race in 1968. He competed for Wakefield Harriers and did many races in the north.  Both were great clubmen and much has been written of their achievements They will be greatly missed.

I have heard that Ed Shillabeer C590 and Mick Holmes C717 have been poorly of late and I wish them well and a speedy recovery from their current problems.

Details of the Virtual Events can be found on the Facebook “Race Walking Group” if in doubt ask a friend who is on Facebook.

Stay safe and hopefully we can get back to some normality in the not too distant future,

Pam Ficken C934



Captain Martin Fisher  C 788


A short update in this current difficult time, despite our necessity to postpone our Colchester event  until 2021, I am sure all prospective Centurions, and those hoping to improve their times at the 100 mile distance, are still training despite the lack of competitive events, we must try to remain positive that the situation will be a little easier when we receive new guidance. This could be the best time to try out a new training plan or food and drinks that perhaps you had never considered before on a distance event.

A recent survey of food used on the Bob Graham round is below, see where your favourite is, nice to see jelly babies are well to the fore.

The use of new technology is a major topic just now and the Committee had a recent meeting on the Zoom application allowing us to meet remotely by phone, if there are others who wish to join in the meeting, however brief, please contact us, however, I had a recent meeting, socially distanced, with our President where a Lemon drizzle cake was most acceptable, so please use this time to make contact with others as much as you can by Zoom, email or social distance to promote our event.

The Committee will keep you all updated on plans and dates for 2021.

We may find in future that races are different, going forward with track and trace apps on mobile phones being just one way of getting things on the move, and we have seen the use of virtual races in race walking and the use of other applications such as strava which record your exercise and allow you to share with others in a group, don’t be left behind with new technology having these on a phone or watch may in a few months be as important as your training kit, without it you may not be able to take part.

While doing a training walk recently, in a small village in  Lincolnshire called Crowland, I saw a blue plaque telling of a local man,  Henry Girdlestone, who in 1844 walked 1000 miles in 1000 hours later I had a surf on the net to find his story which was brief, he apparently has a ghost with dragging foot- steps too, I shouldn’t wonder after that, but he made his own small piece of history similar to our own when we complete our event, if we do not want our event to become a piece of history too, we must all work together to keep the British 100 miles an iconic race.

Comment was made at the AGM in Birmingham that many new Centurions do little more than pick up the badge, consider at this time what you can do to help at the race next year.


There’s a link here for Henrys story.

Our thoughts are with all our friends and families and no one will come out of this time untouched  but there are signs now of improvement and the hope that we will be back together soon.

Martin Fisher C788



 Social Walks Secretary Steve Kemp  C1075

Centurion’s Social Walk – London’s Roman Wall – Saturday 7th March 2020

The Centurions were fortunate to hold a social walk just before lockdown began. A dozen Centurions and friends walked the course of the Roman Wall from the Tower of London, up past the London Museum and back along the banks of the Thames, taking in many parts of the remaining wall. The group also visited the sites where Aldgate, Ludgate and many other gates to the city once stood.

The city is currently exhibiting a collection of street sculptures and many of these were viewed along the route up to the Barbican. After a refreshment stop near Postman’s park/ London Museum, the final leg of the walk took in the church where Dick Whittington, the famed Lord Mayor of London, is buried. Finally a ‘well hidden’ piece of the original London Bridge timber was hunted down, located where that original bridge crossed the Thames.

Our Autumn walk is postponed but we look forward to further walks next year and will announce details of our Spring event at the AGM in January.

Steve Kemp C1075


Now that restrictions are being relaxed gradually we hope that hosting a race in 2021 will be possible.  In the meantime we  look forward to seeing you at race-walking events and social walks when they resume during the coming year.

Sue Clements C 950

Hon. Secretary