Well we have just about recovered from seeing the Mens 100 mile World Record and Womens 100 mile British Records tumble at the Track 100 two weeks ago and are set to go with our first trail 100 of 2021. In fact the winner of the ladies race in the Track 100 Samantha Amend, will be volunteering at Wallingford check point which just goes to show how much support and community involvement goes into ultrarunning in the UK from athletes of every level.
We have no less than six former winners at our events across the Mens and Womens fields this weekend. It's wonderful to see such competitive race fields lining up for this event.
Dan Lawson: No matter the speed of anyone else behind him, Dan Lawson remains the man to beat at any 100 mile plus event in the land, especially on the flat. You could take the resume of the next nearest half a dozen athletes in the UK on road/ flat/ track events and add them together to get nowhere near what he has already achieved. His main highlights would be: European 24hr Champion and more recently running a new Lands End to John O Groats record which was captured on film. He has won and / or has the course record at Grand Union Canal Race (where his 100 mile split was well under 14 hours). Ridgeway 86. Ultrabalaton. Ultra Trail Gobi. EMU 6 day. Run the Rann 100 mile. Etc. Races he hasn't won but worth mentioning are his 2nd at Spartathlon and 3rd at Badwater. Dan will run with others and revel in the experience of being in a race again, spreading joy to all around him. But make no mistake, when it comes to the second half of the race, Dan comes into his own. His only downfall might be the fact that he's spent several days not eating this week. You can listen to the British Ultrarunning Pod latest episode here to get the inside exclusive.
Dan Lawson (Photo c/o Dave MacFarlane)
Richard Mcdowell: Won the SDW50 three weeks ago. Marathon best of 2:23 placing him first V40 in the championship start at the London Marathon 2019. Only other ultra experience to date some shorter FKT efforts, this will be his longest run to date. At the SDW50 he stated intention to look for a sub 13 hour finish so we could see some fireworks here!
James Williams: James was our 2018 Autumn 100 champ in a time of 15:18 and later that year went on to a second place at the Wendover Woods 50. After an unsuccesful attempt at Lejog he looks to have only raced once, a 5th at Country to Capital in 2020.
Justin Montague: A true stalwart of the scene and one of the nicest guys on the circuit. Justin was a prolific racer almost a decade ago, packing 2012 and 2013 with race wins, podiums and top tens. In fact he was 2nd at our second ever edition of the North Downs Way 100. He then went through some health problems and took a period out of the sport, before re-emerging with the same vigiour he showed before. Top results in more recent years include a win at Devon Coast to Coast, 2nd at the Ridgeway Challenge and wins at numerous XNRG multi stage events.
Pete Windross: Winner of this very event in 2018 with a 15:49 on route to a Grand Slam 100 mile crown. He has subsequently had some solid results at 24hr track events, and a third place at the SDW50 already this year.
Ed Catmur: Ed is coming back. Having been one of our most regular competitors and multi time champion at 100s over the years including a course record at the North Downs Way 100 and then the win here in 2014, Ed hit some injury woes and spent a long time running events but finishing well down the pack. Over the last couple of year, steady improvement has returned to the stage where in October 2020 he ran a 100 mile PB of 15:38 coming home second at the Autumn 100. He was also 6th at this event last year. Can he bring it back all the way again?
Sebastian Betouret: 5:33 at Country to Capital last weekend for 3rd. Experienced guy with nearly 10 years and 50 events of solid finishes at a wide range of events. 17:47 for 100 miles at Gloucester last year.
Sean Collum: 8th at Race to the Stones. 227km Suffolk Backyard Ultra. Finisher of Barkley Fall Classic in an impressive 9:22.
Simon Booth: Winner of the Robin Hood 100 in 2019 in 17:22.
Fumiaka Imamura: 50th at the NDW100 last year seems to be an anomalous result. This year he won the 47 mile Peddars Way Ultra. Past results include second at Hardwolds 80, 5th at SVP100km and two top 5s at the Stort 30.
Richard Wilson: 6th at the Autumn 100 last year
Julien Cazorla: 7th at SDW50 2021
Anna Troup: Anna's victory list includes races among the top tier of UK events including Lakeland 100, Arc of Attrition and of course Wendover Woods 100! Where she was our only sub 24hr female finisher. She struggled with injury issues in 2020, but we really hope she is back to full strength for this one.
Zoe Murphy: With just a couple of ultras to her name until 2020, she ran home for the win at last October's Autumn 100 in a time of 18:23.
Zoe Murphy on route to winning the 2020 Autumn 100 (Photo c/o Stuart March Photography)
Melissa Montague: Melissa is a super experiened ultra runner with a huge number of wins and podiums to her name. Alongside too many victories at XNRG multi stage events to count she has won the Ridgeway 86 (and finished second there twice in addition) and has a third at Autumn 100 to her name. Victories in shorter lower key ultras are too numerous to count.
Rebecca Ferry: Rebecca looks to have raced all over the world at some of the marquee ultras out there and had some excellent finishes. Most notable - In 2020 she won the Coastal Challenge Costa Rica. In 2019 she won Country to Capital.
Jennifer Sangster: 5th at the South Downs Way 100 in 2017 in 19:45 following a 4th place at the SDW50 that same year. More recently 5th at the Thames Trot 2020.
Karla Borland: Karla won the Weald Challenge 50km in 2018. Prior to that she was also second at Race to the King.
Lorna Spayne: Not too many ultras to her name but some super results in amongst them. Second at Race Race's 'The Wall' Ultra. Winner of Maverick's Ultra Peak District Last Year. Two top five finishes at Dark Star River.
Follow the race live from the link here including tracking of all runners every step of the way - 0700-0930 start on Saturday morning (link will go live closer to race day).
A field of 15 athletes will start the second edition of the Track 100 mile this Saturday which takes place at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. All have reached qualifying marks in prior events and will have 17 hours on the day to complete the distance. On route, splits will be taken at 50km, 50 miles, 100km, 6hr and 12hr. One or two athletes will be shooting for records or fast splits at those lower marks but most have the full 100 in their sights.
Conditions look dry and overcast and temperatures are a close to perfect 4-12 degrees across the day. The only negative factor is a moderate north easterly breeze that we hope won't interfere with the athlete's pacing too much.
We welcome a field of 4 women and 11 men to the race this year. Here's a quick run down of who will feature on the day. Remember to head over to our youtube channel to watch the live stream from 0600 Saturday morning.
Sam Amend (GB&NI International): Sam Amend has represented England from marathon through to 100k as well as GB&NI on numerous occasions, most recently qualifying to run as part of the 24hr team. In October 2020 the 2:42 marathoner ran an impressive 14:54 for 100 miles at Gloucester, missing out on the British all surfaces record by just 11 minutes. She will surely have her eyes set on 12 hour and 100 mile GB records on the day and seems well capable of achieving both if things go her way.
Sam Amend at the TP100 (Photo: Stuart March)
Ali Young (GB&NI International): Ali's best over 100 miles was her 16:29 split at Tooting Bec 24hr in 2015, an event at which she also qualified for the GB&NI 24hr team. She has since run in two European and two World 24hr Championships. She also has finishes at Spartathlon, GUC145 and MDS.
Jo Newens (GB&NI International): Jo has a 24hr PB of 221km, from Tooting Bec in 2019. The Scottish international clocked 16.45 for 100 miles in that same 24hr race in 2019. Over the last 12 months Newens has run a 19.39 100 miler at Gloucester 24hr race, but went through 50 miles in 7.38, and has also represented GB&NI at both virtual IAU 6hr Solidarity runs.
Sarah Sawyer: Sarah qualified for this event by running 208.6km at Bernau 24hr in 2020. Sarah also finished 4th lady at the 2019 Spartathlon in 30.37. Other notable achievements include race wins at Crawley 24hr, NDW50, Al Andalus Ultimate Trail and RTP Patagonia.
Sarah Sawyer finishing Spartathlon in 4th place (photo c/o Spartathlon)
Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania International) Our only international competitor, Aleksandr a resident of Vilnius in Lithuania arrived last week and has been training in quarantine indoors on a treadmill. Until Wednesday prior to the event when his test and release details came through and he was finally able to run outside once again. The current 24hr World Champion, Aleksandr was a sprinter kayaker in his youth. When he finished with sports he gained almost 100kg. One day at 32, he said enough was enough and took up running. He now specialises in 24hr running where his best performance has been that victory at the 2019 World 24hr Championships with a massive 278.97km. "I've wanted to run 100 miles for a long time. Last year James invited me, but the pandemic changed all plans. I think I'll be lucky this time."
Aleksandr Sorokin on route to becoming World 24hr Champion in Albi in 2019 (Photo: Norbert Mihalik)
Grant MacDonald (GB&NI International) Grant, 42, lives in Strathblane north of Glasgow. He qualified with his 24hr PB of 251.3km at Barcelona 24hr, which also earnt him a GB&NI selection for the World 24hr Championships in Albi in 2019. "This will be my first Centurion race. I'm looking forward to the fun of racing again and curious to see what I can do over 100 miles on a day where I don't have to continue to the 24hr mark."
Rob Payne (GB&NI International) Rob is from Lincolnshire and works as a Chemical Engineer. Rob qualified with 251.9km at Tooting Bec 24hr in 2019. He has also run twice virtually for GB&NI in the 6hr Global Solidarity events, running 54miles and 51miles. In addition, when the SDW100 was cancelled last year Rob ran a solo 100 instead and clocked an impressive 14.47.
Michael Stocks (GB&NI International) Michael has represented England at 100km and made the GB&NI team for 24hrs. His GB debut being in 2019 at the age of 50. After years of focusing on Comrades, he debuted at the 100 mile distance in 2017 winning the Thames Path 100. His fastest 100 mile came during Tooting 24hr when he passed that mark in 14.17 on the way to a final distance of 249km. Michael is also the author of "One Track Mind: What Running 150 miles in a Day Can Teach You about Life."
Andy Jordan: Andy Jordan ran our first CT100 back in 2019 where he ran a PB of 14.57.38. He bettered that at the Gloucester 24hr event last year where he covered the 100 mile distance in 14.24.03 setting a new MV55 world best. That has since been surpassed and he will want it back here. Andy also has a best distance of 220.496km for the 24hr event set back in 2016.
Andy on his way to a V55 World Best at his last outing at this event in 2019 (photo: Jack Atkinson)
Mark Innocenti: Mark qualified by winning the Autumn 100 last October. Mark ran a 2.31 marathon PB in Berlin and has finished numerous ultras, but he hadn't ran farther than 53 miles until he tried the Autumn 100 last year. "100 miles on a track is daunting and completely new territory for me."
Mark Innocenti on route to his debut 100 mile win at the 2020 Autumn 100 (Photo: Stuart March)
Stephen Marks: Having started running in his mid 30s, Stephen's first ultra distance race was the Lakeland 50. His first 100 mile finish was in 2015 at Centurion's Thames Path 100. Stephen qualified for this event at the Autumn 100 in 2019 running 15.21. "I'm hoping to chop a decent chunk off that time on the track."
Joe Turner: Joe qualified for this event by running 2.23.37 in the 2019 Valencia marathon. Joe's first ultra attempt was at the 2020 Gloucester 24hr event, posting 83.6km through the 6hr mark and 7.13.18 for 100km. "Unfortunately I had to pull out of that event due to injury, but looking forward to another go at the Centurion Track 100."
Jason Porter: Jason started running five years ago and has focused his efforts on the marathon, where he has a best of 2.26 set at the end of 2020. With the CT100 being his first competitive ultra race he is planning on racing one of the shorter splits before potentially returning next year to complete the whole 100 miles.
Mike Bisson: Mike Bisson qualified for the event with a 15.19 for a 100 mile event last year. Mike has a range of strong PBs from 5km through to 100 miles and has also competed at many of our Centurion events over the years.
Rob Forbes: A course record at the Cotswold Way Century in 2018 followed by a 5th at Ultra Trail Cape Town and a 12th at TDS cemented Rob's place at the top table amongst UK Ultra Runners. He has a marathon PB of 2:37 and perhaps most impressively holds the double buggy marathon world record with 2:43. He will be looking to combine his road speed and trail endurance experience for the perfect outcome here.
The 2021 season begins this weekend with the South Downs Way 50, which by a twist of covid related fate also happened to be the last event of the 2020 season.
We are delighted to be bringing live tracking to all of our events this year. The new interface will allow those at home, or crewing the event to follow their runner every step of the way, simultaneously improving event safety.
The womens race in particular looks wide open for the season opener.
Sarah Hill: Sarah has finished a lowest of 2nd place in any of the ultras listed against her name. Wins include Race to the Stones 100km, Fox Ultra (twice) and a clean sweep with our friends at XNRG events of: Pilgrims Challenge, Druids Challenge and the Isle of Wight Challenge (twice). Away from ultras she has extremely consistent road results too with plenty of sub 3 hour marathons to her name as well as great showings at shorter distances.
Caroline Farren: Caroline was 7th here in 2016 and has top ten finishes at Liverpool to Manchester 50, New Forest 50km and Ladybower 50 behind her.
Debra Bourne: Debra won the NDW50 all the way back in 2012, our second year of events. After many consistent and prolific years of racing all distances, Debra rediscovered some great form in 2020 and placed 4th at the NDW100 and 6th at the A100 whilst also recording a 6th place at CTS Sussex around the same area.
Jack Blackburn: Jack comes into this race as probably the favourite, having had a great run here in the past as well as many other solid results over the past six or seven years. In 2015 he ran home second at this event in a time of 6:29, still good for top ten all time on this course. In 2017 and 2019 he won Race to the King and has many other podium and top ten finishes to his name, mostly in the same distance range as this event.
Pete Windross: Peter has now strung together several years of really consistent results. He has often featured amongst the front runners at our events and indeed, has a win at the TP100 to his name. In recent years he has turned his hand to the track too and has won two 24hr events, at Gloucester in 2020 and Crawley in 2019. He was also our Grand Slam 100 mile champion in 2018 before that.
Toby Meanwell: Second at CTS South Devon in 2020 his only ultra finish to date, the runner from Lewes has a serious road pedigree behind him. With a Marathon PB of 2:39, he looks to have just clocked a 15:35 5km less than two weeks ago at Ardingly so he is clearly running well.
Richard Mcdowell: The faster runner in the field over the marathon with a 2:23 in London in 2019. Just three days ago he clocked 15:22 for 5km so like Toby above, brings in an awful lot of speed to this longer event.
Frederick Levy: Looks to have just four ultras behind him but with solid results. Wins at the Rebellion ultra (75 mile), Causeway Coast 40 mile and perhaps most impressively a 19th at Eiger Ultra Trail 101km - all in 2019.
James Mills: Plenty of solid results behind him including top ten finishes at the Chiltern Wonderland 50, Roseland August Trail Black Rat, Arc of Attrition 50 and Stort 30. A best on this course of 8:10 on this course looks sure to go this time.