How to qualify – Enter a Centurion qualifying race

Races are held annually and often incorporate the Race Walking Association (RWA) National Long Distance Championship.  The majority are road races but some are held on the track.  Centurion races are open to walkers from all backgrounds and countries, and on a few occasions shorter distances have also been included in order to encourage walkers to train and qualify as Centurions plus raise our sport in the public eye and wider athletic community.

Rules for Race Walking

Centurion qualifying races must comply with the rules laid down by the governing body, the Race Walking Association (RWA),  British Athletics (UKA)  and World Athletics (formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF). The course must be measured by an accredited UKA course measurer and the RWA Race Permit displayed at the race for the duration of the event.

As race walking is a technical sport judges are positioned around the course to ensure the rules are complied with and no walker gains an unfair advantage.  A walker judged to infringe the rules is issued with a warning; a walker receiving three warnings is disqualified.

Race Guidelines and Governance

RWA Handbook (2014)

RWA Return to Competition 2020 (v1)

IAAF Guide to Race Walking 2016

IAAF What you need to know 2012

World Athletics & UKA Competition & Technical Rules 2020

World Athletics Competition & Technical Rules 2020

WA Competition Rules 2020

WA Technical Rules 2020

How to Race Walk

Two criteria must be complied with:

At least one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times.

The leading leg must be straight at the knee when the foot touches the ground and remain straight until the leg is vertical.  The walker’s knees must be visible so long, baggy trousers are not permitted.  Shorts are preferable but, as a 24 hour race continues through the night the Chief Referee or Judge sometimes permits long tight-fitting trousers to be worn. Mindful of this, ensure you read and understand the latest race update before deciding which clothes you are going to wear.

The 100 mile race is designated a ‘B’ race which means that contact is judged.

Captain Martin Fisher C 788 shows how to race walk












UKA Rules of Competition – Unattached Athlete Status

Walkers entering a Centurion-qualifying race in the UK for the first time do not have to be a member of an athletic club affiliated to England Athletics.  However any subsequent participations, irrespective of whether or not they were successful the first time, must be, and registered through their home nation body (e.g. England Athletics) to be eligible to compete in any event held under UKA rules.

The RWA National Long Distance Championship is open only to registered athletes.

UK Athletics also state that previously attached athletes can revert to ‘unattached’ status for road race walking. This does not apply to track events, i.e. walkers must be registered in order to take part in a track race.