The eleventh edition of the North Downs Way 50 is right around the corner. Kicking off from 0700 on Saturday 21st May, below is a list of the possible front runners in the womens and mens events. A field of 300 is expected to start this one, with the ambition as ever, of making it to the finish under 13 hours.
Sarah Hill: Our 2021 SDW50 champion, Sarah has a raft of wins behind her on the ultra scene including Race to the Stones, The Druids Challenge and the Fox Ultra. Earlier this year she was 7th at the SDW50 but only because of a time penalty she received along with a group of runners who accidentally took the wrong turn resulting in an unintential course cut. It will be great to see her back racing here to make amends for that and get a result she deserves.
Amy-Jo Clarke: Three ultras and three wins in 2021 including Race to the Stones, The Fox Ultra and Endurancelife's CTS Exmoor.
Nicola Soraghan: Won our 2021 Wendover Woods Night 50km. Went on to finish sixth at UTS 50km and third at the Ecotrail Wicklow 80km later that year.
Kat Short: Third at the SDW50 this year after beating fourth by literally a few metres. Has also taken a fourth at Chiltern Wonderland 50 in the past, though a while ago.
Rachel Lindley: Some very solid runs of late with a fith at the Arc 50 and a sixth at the SDW50 already in 2022. Finished ninth at this race in 2021.
Dawn Godwin: Has twice run 3 hours dead for a marathon but this looks to be her first ultra.
Ed Knudsen: Possibly the favourite coming in to this. He has been second here before in 6:50, just 4 minutes behind Stuart Leaney. Previous winner of the Chiltern Wonderland 50 in a superb 6:34, he has also taken second at that race another time as well as second at the SDW50 in 6:18. He's had a strong start to the year with a second at Country to Capital in a steady 5:17.
Luke Davies: This years SDW50 champion in 6:49:10.
Daniel Weller: Daniel is off to quite the start in 2022 with a win at the Lakes Traverse and a second at the North Downs Ridge 50km just a fortnight ago. Has previously won the Grand Tour of Skiddaw and the Beacons 50 amongst others.
Ben Gibbon: Winner of the Fox Ultra in 2020 an 2022. Regular sub 2:30 marathoner.
Ed Fisher: Third at the 2016 Autumn 100. Several other podium positions at shorter ultras to his name in the UK. Has also raced some longer stuff including UTMB and Western States.
Oliver Knowles: Winner 2021 Eden Valley Ultra Trail. 1:15 Half Marathon.
Samuel Anderson: A good number of consistent top ten finishes to his name. Stand outs a 4th at the WW50 in 2021 and 4th at the CW50 in 2020.
Andrew Classey: 5th at the 2021 Wendover Woods 50. Won the Hangman Ultra earlier that year.
John Borton: 2:33 Marathon at London in 2021. No ultras to his name.
Follow the race live via our tracking page which will be available here from 0700 on Saturday 21st May 2022.
The eleventh edition of the Thames Path 100 is upon us. A stunning, incredibly flat journey from London to Oxford along the banks of the Thames awaits 300 eager (some of them!) starters and we can't wait to kick off our trail 100 season in great style.
The mens course record fell a long way last year with Richard Mcdowell posting a 13:43. The womens still stands at 16 hours flat, run by none other than Sam Amend who set a new British 100 mile womens record at our Track 100 less than a fortnight ago.
The womens field this time looks particurlarly interesting with a lot of potentially competitive athletes. The mens looks much more open.
One thing is for sure, the course is in fast condition, with very little rain to speak of lately and a largely dry forecast between now and race day. Here are some of the likely contenders for the overall positions.
Ingrid Lid: Ingrid was second here in 2019 in a time of 17:34. One of our past NDW100 champions, the Norwegian athlete has taken things to the next level over the past six months, lowering her 100 mile PB to 15:10 at the Bislett 24hr and running home the winner of the Bergen Ultra 100km just a month ago.
Ali Young: Stalwart of the GB 24hr team, Ali racked up a 100 mile PB at our Track 100 last year running 15:41 for a new National Age Group record. She can run the trails too however and crucially, bearing in mind the profile of this race, won the GUCR in a solid 28:35 in 2019.
Ali Young at the 2021 Track 100
Zoe Murphy: Winner of our 2020 Autumn 100 in 18:23. A memorable run that day and one she will no doubt be keen to repeat!
Zoe Murphy - 2020 A100 Champion
Sarah Morwood: Has won no less than eight of our races including this event back in 2014. Has represented GB on the Trails and in the 24hr format and has a 100 mile PB of 16:13 putting her in rarified company on the all-time list. It is great to have her back racing after recovering from her car accident and operation in recent years.
Ally Whitlock: Ally ran home fourth at the 2021 SDW100 having previously also finished fourth in the 50 two months prior.
Anna Brown: Third at Race to the Stones in 2021. 19:10 for second at the Robin Hood 100 in 2020 and went on to win Gloucester 24hr later that year with a 100 mile split of 19:30 along the way.
Tristan Stephenson: Shot to fame earlier this year when he nailed the Arc of Attrition in a stellar 20:01. If it hadn't been for one Mark Darbyshire the course record would have been his. Has several other wins behind him on the ultra circuit including the Serpent Trail 100km and the South West Traverse.
Ed Catmur: Ed has featured on probably more pre race previews than anyone else. He has finished no less than 24 of our 100s, so many of them podium places and wins. He was champion here in 2014. He showed in 2020 that he still has it, with a second at the A100 in a 100 mile PB of 15:38. This year he has already taken a solid third at the Lakes Traverse.
Julian Cazorla: Sixth here last year in 16:18, before going on to a prolific year of racing with second place at the Beacons 50, SVP 100km and our CW50. He then placed third in the Autumn 100 in a storming 15:02.
Kallum Pritchard: Won the Robin Hood 100 in 2021 in 15:39, suggesting this race could be right up his street.
Matt Gallagher: Ran 16:21 here in 2021 for seventh. Several other top ten performances in shorter ultras preceeded that.
Ash Varley: Second at the NDW100 in 2020, Ash has more recently posted a top ten at the Autumn 100 and started the year well with a seventh at the SDW50 in a little over 7 hours.
Tom Kingham: 2021 Race to the Tower winner and then went on to a solid seventh at the NDW100 later that summer.
Craig Purle: Led our Chiltern Wonderland 50 for 50km last year before a big detour lost him all of his lead and more. Had finished second at Wendover Woods Night 50km in an excellent run, the previous July.
Daniel Moloney: 19:07 here in 2019. Third at Wendover Woods 50 in 2021 and fourth at the Arc 50 in January of this year.
As always you can follow the race live via our live tracking page which will be available here from 0930 this Saturday. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who will make this weekend possible.
For 2023, there will be one new event in our calendar and one significant date change to be aware of.
The 2023 season will start with the Hundred Hills 50km on March 18th and all regular race weekends will remain as they are, with the exception of Wendover Woods 50.
After traditionally closing our season in November, we are bringing the Wendover Woods 50 into July, to run on the same weekend as the Wendover Woods 50km and, back for 2023, the Wendover Woods 100 mile.
The major impact here is on the 50 Mile Grand Slammers who will go to racing in April, May, July and September instead of April, May, September and November. Whilst that brings the calendar into a tighter period, there is still a good space between the NDW50, WW50 and the CW50. With changes to Foresty England policies we needed to combine the events into the one weekend. We are hopeful this will make for an incredible atmosphere over the July weekend.
The below calendar is provisional except where listed as confirmed:
For 2023 our entry fees have risen to £105 for the 50 milers and £215 for the 100 milers.
The cost of organising events has shot up an incredible amount since the end of last season. Quite simply, we need to raise prices to maintain our team and the level of event we put on. Every aspect of the events have been subject to price rises. From the fuel, to the medical cover, to landlord charges, awards, food - everything has gone up, in most cases way in excess of the 10% rise.
We know this might come as a blow because these races are not cheap to enter. There is of course always the option of volunteering at any given race, to earn a free entry for that event the following year. It has always been the best way to get the most out of the sport - help others, learn about the events and come back and run them with that extra knowledge and experience.
Within entry fees for 2022 and beyond, we will also be offering all runners free on course photograpy, adding some extra value in.
Thank you to all of you for your continued support. We will never take it for granted.
We are delighted to announce a starting field of 18 elite athletes for the third edition of our Track 100 Mile. With splits being taken at 50km, 50 mile, 100km, 6hr, 12hr and 100 mile, we expect to see a raft of national and international records go. With the right conditions several World Records are under threat with the calibre of the field. After the success of 2021 where new Mens World 100 mile and 12hr records were set along with 12 other National Open and Age Group Bests.
Camille has list of accolades that is simply too long to do justice to her here. She is the current 100 mile, 12hr and 24hr World Record Holder. Former 50km and 100km World Champion. Camille's vein of form is richer now than ever before. Having turned 40 in December she has already established new age group marks on her way to a new 100 mile world record at the Jackpot 100 in February. Camille will be focused on setting new best World 12hr and 100 mile marks here along with a raft of new Age Group and Overall US marks.
Dominika is the European 100km record holder, with the fourth fastest womens 100km of all-time. Second on the all-time list for 6 hours. Tenth on the all-time list for 50km. Her 2022 has already seen a second at the highly competitive Black Canyons 100km on the trail. Dominika is focused on 6hr and 12hr World Records here.
Sam ran a new British 100 mile record at this event last year of 14:34:03. She has earned international vests at the 50km, 100km and 24hr formats. Previous 100km British Champion she ran her way back on to the British Team for 2022 with a 7:48 for second at the ACP in Perth at the start of April.
Sam Amend running a new GB Record at last years event (photo: Steve Ashworth)
Previous British 100km Champion, with a best of 7:31 for that distance (fourth all-time GB). A 24hr best of 236.561km (sixth all-time GB) which saw her clock a 14:47 100 mile split on route. Jo has achieved incredible success over every distance and terrain type.
Team GB 24hr runner and one of our Centurion Ultra Team, Cat has a PB of 221.435km over that format, where she recorded a 15:34 100 mile split on the way.
Cat Simpson (Photo: Norbert Mihalik)
Eloise ran 214.4km at Gloucester last year, which included a 16:48 100 mile split.
Jo is a 2:41 Marathoner with that best mark set in 2020.
Claudia will be aiming for a new World 100 mile Wheelchair record here. As far as records go there are no recorded British marks over this distance at all and from the US the best global mark appears to be in excess of two days. Claudia races all distance and terrain types and in 2020, covered 100 miles in 15:20 on her way to winning our virtual 100 mile One Community event.
Aleksandr 'Sania' Sorokin set new 100 mile and 12 hour World Records at this event last year. He has since gone on to better his 11:14, with a 10:51:39 100 mile split in Israel and lifted his 12 Hour Record to 177.41km at the same time. In 2021 he also ran possibly his greatest ever race, clocking 309.400km for 24 hours in Poland, breaking the 'unbreakable' record of Yiannis Yourous. This time he will focus on the 100km distance.
Aleksandr Sorokin at last years Track 100 (photo: Steve Ashworth)
Ran 12:34 to finish second to Aleksandr at this race in 2021. Represented England at the ACP just two weeks ago and ran 7:00 for eighth so may aim for a shorter distance mark, this time.
Mark Innocenti, Front (Photo Steve Ashworth)
Team GB 24hr team regular James has had a run of very consistent results at that format over the last 6 years, with a PB of 258km. Has represented Scotland over 100km with a PB of 7:25. He has also won Rocky Raccoon 100 in 13:39 as well as the WHW Race.
24hr PB of 257km set at Crawley in 2021, which he followed up with a superb 23:25 win at the GUCR 145 just 7 weeks later.
24hr PB of 249.15km and a 100 mile best of 14:17, split in that event in Tooting. Past winner of the TP100 and third at British 100km champs in 2018.
Mike Stocks (Photo Steve Ashworth)
A 100 mile PB of 13:59 set on the trails (unratified as a result) at the Autumn 100 in 2021. 24hr PB of 231km on the track and 15:15 for 100 miles. Will be looking for V50 British records.
Peter Windross (Photo Stuart March Photography)
Fourth at Spartathlon in 2019. Twice winner of Belfast to Dublin Ultra.
TP100 winner in 2019 in 14:36. 100 mile track PB 14:54 at Gloucester in 2021.
24hr PB of 231km and a 100 mile best of 14:37, split in that event in Tooting 2021 where he won the race.
100km PB of 7:24. Ran 7:36 at the French 100km Championships in 2021.
Our 2022 season opener is here, the tenth edition of what has always been one of our most popular events - the South Downs Way 50.
Both of our mens and womens fastest 50 mile times have been set on this course. Tom Evans' 5:44 from 2018 and Julia Davis' 6:54 from 2019 stand as the times to beat. There is good reason to believe one or both could be under threat from the high calibre field who toe the line this coming Saturday.
Here's a quick snap shot of the likely key conetenders for the overall wins.
Anna-Marie Watson: The La Sportiva athlete has been one of the most successful British runners on the world stage over the last several years. She has finished Top Ten regularly at headline international events such as UTMB, Laveredo, TGC, Grand Trail Courmayeur, MDS (twice). On home soil she has won events on the SDW before and knows the trail.
Bethan Male: Bethan led the way at the Autumn 100 last October for the first 100km on a blistering pace before injury stopped her in her tracks. There is so much more to come over the longer stuff from her, this one being a stepping stone towards the SDW100 in June. Her biggest wins in the past have been against very large fields at both Lakeland 50 and the Beacons Ultra.
Laura Swanton-Rouvelin: Laura has been one of the most consistent performers at events of all distances in recent years. Her list of accolades is long. Starting out in 2017 she went long quickly and won our Grand Slam in 2018 with 4 stellar races, three podium finishes culminated in a win at the Autumn 100. Since then she has gone on to set the course record at our Chiltern Wonderland 50, won the Arc of Attrition and the Ridgeway amongst others. She raced Bethan over a 100km on the SDW last June and Bethan came out on top so it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds this time - especially as Laura finished the Spine this past January!
Sarah Hill: Last years winner here she has quite the run of ultra victories including Race to the Stones and the Fox Ultra twice. Her time of 8:45 from last year will need to move up significantly one would think if she is to retain her crown.
Sarah Hill on her way to winning the SDW50 in 2021
Claire Kanja: Claire finished second at both the Wendover Woods Night 50km and 50 mile in 2021. That followed a second at the Autumn 100 in 2020 - her third consecutive top ten there. Another younger runner like Bethan with a bright future ahead.
Rose Penfold: With a 2:48 marathon PB and an 82 minute Half at Cambridge earlier this year, on paper she is as fast as any other lady in the field and that could make for very interesting racing on a course as fast and runnable as this.
Liz Steward: Previous winner at Portsmouth Coastal 50km, CTS Dorset and the Druids Challenge.
Gemma Buley: Has a 2:59 marathon PB and a couple of top tens in 50 mile ultras including the CW50 and NDW50.
Harry Jones: The stand out athlete in the field by quite a stretch. The GB international has finished on the podium at many of the worlds leading ultras. With top ten finishes at TGC, Tarawera, CCC, Eiger Ultra Trail, Ultra Trail Australia and many more besides.
Lyndon Cooper: Lyndon took second at the 2021 NDW50 in 7:10 Previously also fourth at the Ridgeway Challenge and SVP 100km and fifth at Wendover Woods 50. Has a range of other UK ultra wins and podiums over recent years.
Seb Betouret: Our 2021 Wendover Woods 100 champion. A prolific racer this is likely a bit short and a bit flat for him to be competitive at the very top.
Jack Oates: 3:01 at Stort 30 and wins at a couple of other 50km events.
Luke Davis: 11th here in 2021 in 7:18. 2:33 marathon suggests he could go a lot quicker.
Andrea Fraquelli: Ran a 2:29 at London last year. He also finished second at the Lea Valley 50km in 3:16 and sixth at the Serpentr Trail 50km.
John Stoddart: Second at the Steyning Stinger last month and a strong marathon pedigree.
Tom Ridsdale: Winner of the 2020 Thames Trot in 6:11. 2:39 marathon from the same year.
Nick Williams: Has done well at CTS events in the past with a win at the Gower Ultra. In 2022 he has already scored a third at the South Devon event.
Stuart Farmer: 2:33 marathoner run at London last autumn but has only a few ultras to his name.
Stephen Peck: 2:40 marathon, looks like his first ultra.
We are shocked and saddened beyond words, at what we are currently witnessing with regards to the unprovoked and unprecedented attack by Russia on Ukraine. It is so hard to know what action to take. We all feel helpless. But also because action punishes individuals who want nothing to do with Putin’s regime.
Nevertheless take a stand we must, silence will not solve this problem.
As a result we have taken the decision to prevent any Russian or Belarussian athletes from running in our events under their national flags, they may compete as neutrals only. Entry fees from Russian and Belarussian athletes will be donated in full to Unicef’s fund for the children of Ukraine. In addition, all of the money taken from food and drinks sales at all of our events will go directly to the same fund.
Sport should unite not divide. But we have to unanimously send the message to Russia and Belarus that this war will not stand.
Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine.
The season finale is here! Wendover Woods 50 is back for the fifth time, after the cancellation of this race in 2020 due to the pandemic, some runners have been waiting a long time for this opportunity.
Conditions look excellent, with forecasted temperatures in the 8-11 degree range throughout Saturday, low winds and what will be an amazing day in the woods.
This race is not only the end of the 2021 Grand Slam of 50s but also the 2020 Grand Slam. 30 have waited since November 2020 to finish their Grand Slam, having started it in April 2020. 53 additional Slammers will finish the 2021 Grand Slam if they al make it to the finish within the 15 hour cut off.
Our final preview of the year focuses on the likely contenders for overall positions in the men's and women's races.
Rachel Fawcett: Rachel has had a really consistent string of results since entering the sport. In 2017 she won the Chiltern Wonderland 50 and took third at the SDW100. In 2018 she finished fourth in all four of our 100s, going on to the Grand Slam. She improved on that in 2019 when she cleared up in the 50 mile slam, including a second at this event and another win at Chiltern Wonderland. Earlier this year she won the Jurassic Coast 100. She is definitely the one to beat here.
Rachel Fawcett (Photo: Stuart March Photography)
Claire Kanja: Claire was second at the Night 50km here back in July. In 2020 she finished second at the Autumn 100, which followed an 8th and a 6th there over the preceding years. Her improvement has been great to watch.
Dominique James: Had an incredible 2020 with third place at all three of our 100 milers.
Samantha Lloyd: Sam was fourth here in 2018 and in 2019, chalked up a third at the SDW100 and fifth at the Chiltern Wonderland 50.
Rachel Lindley: 15th here in 2019, but has four top tens across the NDW50 and SDW50 to her name which suggests she can go a lot better here this time.
Karen Doak: Karen won the Chester Ultra 100 mile earlier this year and has previous experience both of this course and going super long.
Teresa Reason: Winner of the Pilgrims Challenge in 2019, the Chiltern Ridge Ultra in 2020 and eighth at this years NDW100.
Paula Williams: Paula is on her way to the Grand Slam and has a fifth at the SDW50 and a sixth at the CW50 in September. Her NDW50 was a little slower.
Kerry Cooper: Right behind Paula at each of the 50s so far, it's a very close battle at the top of the Grand Slam 50 table.
Charlie Harpur: Charlie hasn't raced since 2019 as the pandemic and cancellation of international championship events wiped out the calendar. But, he is back. In 2019 he became British 100km Champion with a 6:44 over the distance in Perth. He also placed third at the highly competitive Ultra Vasan and won both the Beacons Ultra and Gloucester 50km (2:59:59!). Centurion fans will remember him from his 2018 win at the SDW100 in 15:01. Running for our Ultra Team in 'The Real Yellow Jersey' we are so delighted to see him back.
Charlie Harpur (Photo:@runningisdead)
David I'anson: Past winner of the Oner, won the Druids Ridgeway Challenge in a solid time in 2019. Coming off the back of an 8th at UTS 100km, a super tough course, back in September.
Matthew John: Third at Lakeland 50 back in 2016 but the owner of a 2:28 marathon PB back in the day. As a North Leeds Fell Runner he will surely have some hill legs too.
Tom Ridsdale: Won the Thames Trot in 2020 in 6:11, alongside a 2:39 marathon in the same year, on the road.
Mark Shannon: Eleventh and eighth here in the past but has finished as high as third in the Night 50km over this same course in July.
Rhys Roberts: Third at this years Chiltern Wonderland 50 in 7:46.
Follow all of the action live here from 0930 on Saturday 6th November.
This weekend is the finale of our 100 mile season. It'll be our sixth 100 of 2021 and the last one in the Grand Slam of four trail 100s. Our staff and volunteers love this race, because they get to see runners coming and going throughout the entire event. The cross shaped format of four, twenty five mile out and backs makes it a unique set up amongst our races.
This year, we welcome what are relatively deep fields for both the mens and womens events, given that we only allow a maximum of 250 starters here. It is probably our fastest 100 mile course (with the exception of the Track 100 of course) and this year conditions are about as good as they are ever going to get. The trails are in good shape, the weather forecast is for a dry weekend, with low winds and with temperatures at an ideal 10 - 15 degrees throughout, will we see records tumble?
This is a runners course. There are no hills to speak of and one of the major challenges for the front runners is running well over the long distance, without the hike breaks you would typically factor in on 100 mile trail routes. We have some really fast runners down for this one!
Rob Turner: Rob comes in with the right formula of tremendous 100km road speed plus trail pedigree and makes him potentially the outstanding contender for this one. He was British 100km Champion in 2018 running 7 hours flat at Redwick, going on to represent GB at the format later that year. Then in 2019 he ran faster again, going 6:51 for the distance, finishing second behind our own Ultra Team member Charlie Harpur. His has had wins and podium finishes on the trails around Scotland where he is based, including at the Glen Ogle 33, Devil o' the Highlands and the River Ayr Challenge. This looks to be his first 100, so there is still a reach here.
Jacob Snochowski: La Sportiva Team runner Jacob began running ultras in 2015. Based in the Lakes, prior to 2020, his best results included wins at the Cumbria Way Ultra, Hardmoors 55 and Grand Tour of Skiddaw. Last year he had a superb run at the classic Hardmoors 110 where he set a new course record of 19:45. Then back in May of this year, he took the win at The Lap - Windermere over a really solid field. This will be his first outing at a flat trail 100 but he has prior experience of flat trails too, having done well at the Canalathon over 100km.
Jacob Snochowski (Photo c/o Steve Ashworth Media)
Peter Abraham: A super run at Battersea 24hr just four weeks ago, clocking 14:37 for 100 miles before going on to 231km total. Is four weeks enough recovery for him? Other stand out results include third here in 2017 in 15:57 and fifth at the SDW100 earlier this year.
Pete Windross: Mr. Consistent in 2021 looks to extend his run of 4th (TP100), 1st (SDW100), 3rd (NDW100) and round out a Grand Slam victory for the year. He won't challenge John Melbourne's 61:38 total time as he'll need a 13:01 to do so, but, he will certainly be looking at the second fastest cumulative time in history.
Ed Catmur: Running our events since day one, he won this race back in 2013. He will be going for finish number eight here and is still improving, with his best a 15:38 here last year for second. He is into well over 30 x 100 mile finishes now, making him one of the most experienced runners not only in the field, but in the UK.
Paul Russhard: On the scene since 2012 and has run many of our events. Best finishes include a second at both the NDW50 and the NDW100. 7th here in 2019 in 17:39 but he can go much quicker.
Julien Cazorla: Julien is having quite the year, with at least eight ultra finishes in 2021, finishing no lower than 7th in any of them (SDW50 back in April). His stand out runs were a sixth at the TP100 in May as well as a second here in Goring, at the Chiltern Wonderland 50 just four weeks ago.
Paul O'Sullivan: A varied collection of race finishes in his past including some races significantly tougher than this. UTMB, Moab 240 and Swiss Peaks 360 to name a few. He can also run on the flat however with a win at the Pilgrims Challenge this year back in June as well as plenty of top ten finishes at other shorter UK ultras.
Matt Duckett: Winner of the Devon Coast to Coast ultra (188km) in May this year.
Harry Geddes: 4th at the TP100 earlier this year in 15:31. Winner of the Thames Trot in 2020. 6th at Race to the Stones. Should know the course!
Matt Gallagher: 7th at the TP100 earlier this year in 16:21. Second at the Trot last year behind Harry.
Debbie Martin-Consani: Debbie is in the unique position of having won each of our 100s (including the TP100 twice), with the exception of just this one and Wendover Woods. She has run this race before, however, back in 2014 where she finished second. Debs is one of the most experienced and decorated ladies on the scene. She has represented GB in the 24hr format several times, won some of the more prestigious heritage UK events including Lakeland 100 and the GUCR. But has also raced some of the world's marquee ultras including UTMB, TDG and Spartathlon.
Holly Rush: Holly is without doubt the quickest runner in the womens race, having made the transition to ultras, from racing the marathon for GB at both the Commonwealth and European Championships - she ran 2:37 several times on her road running journey. But she hasn't lost much of that speed in recent years, she just clocked a 2:48 at London. Ultra wise, she remains our NDW50 course record holder. She has wins at events including Ultravasan, Dartmoor Discovery and the Cotswold Way Century where she set a course record also. She has also competed on the world stage, with a 7th and an 8th at CCC respectively. There is no doubt, that if things go well she will be shooting at the British 100 mile trail record, set on this course by Susie Chesher and possibly by a long way.
Wendy Whearity: Wendy has finished 18 of our 100 milers including this race seven times. Yet to win, but on the podium at most of them, Wendy stepped away for a few years as she made her way onto the GB 24hr team and represented her country twice with really solid performances each time. She is back racing having had a baby and it's fantastic to see her back here.
Bethan Male: Five ultra finishes, made up of four wins and a second place. Bethan won Lakeland 50 in 2019 firmly stamping her mark on the UK scene. This is her first race with us and looks to be her first 100 miler, it will be fascinating to see how she goes.
Linn Erixon-Sahlstrom: Linn is another experienced runner with a long list of ultra finishes, many of them wins. She has previously claimed victory at the Jurassic Coast 100 (twice), UTS 50 and CTS Sussex (twice).
The sixth edition of the Chiltern Wonderland 50 takes place this coming Saturday 18th September 2021. We always look forward to the autumn season here at Centurion, where our races tick down a notch in terms of logistics and field size. Our final three races are smaller, more intimate settings and always feel special.
The CW50 course is a single loop, which starts and finishes in Goring on Thames. The route travels through remote valleys, over rolling hills, takes in quaint villages and delivers some generally all round incredible trail running. Many runners return year after year to make the journey around the 'Wonderland'.
Here is a quick run down of the likely leading contendors in the men's and women's events this time out.
Live Tracking as always, is available here over race weekend.
Nicola Soraghan: Winner (and now course record holder) of this years Wendover Woods Night 50km.
Karen Hacker: Third at the 2021 SDW100, winner 2020 NDW100. Previously a best of seventh at this event but has podiums at Wendover Woods 50 and Race to the Stones to her name.
Maria Russell: A best of fourth place in 9:09 here on route to completing our Double Grand Slam in 2018.
Sarah Swinhoe: Second place at the Devil's Lite 50k, in May, on the South Downs Way. Marathon PB of 2:52. As a Vet 50 ran a 38:37 10km this year which puts her third for her age group in 2021 within the UK.
Rebecca Lane: Eighth here in 2020. A touch short for Rebecca. She has previously won our Grand Slam of 100s.
Neil Martin: Superb run at the Wendover Woods Night 50km in July for the win there. Has finished fourth here twice, with a best time of 7:09. Has a raft of other wins, podiums and top tens to his name at other competitive 50km - 50 mile distance events. This is right in his wheelhouse in terms of terrain, elevation and distance.
Julien Cazorla: Seecond at the Stour Valley 100km last month. Earlier this year he picked up seventh at the SDW50, sixth at the TP100 and then a fourth at the NDW50, all in the space of five weeks. Quite an impressive vein of form.
Tony Gavin: Third at Stour Valley 100km last month. Marathon PB of 2:40.
Craig Purle: Second place, behind Neil Martin, at the 2021 Wendover Woods Night 50km. This looks to be the longest he will have gone, to date.
Jordan Skelly: A first and a second at Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series events in 2020. Marathon PB of 2:25 making him comfortably the fastest runner on course this weekend.
Our first event back in 2011 returns for the eleventh Edition.
The starting field for this race is smaller than our other 100 milers, intentionally. But the operation is large with thirteen aid stations along the 103 mile route from Farnham to Ashford. Average finisher rates and times show that this is our toughest race, with the exception only of Wendover Woods 100 (and some of the Piece of String Fun Run events back in the day!).
This years field includes a few key runners who will likely be the key contenders for the overall men's and women's positions.
Geoff Cheshire: A familiar name now to many who have followed the front of our races over the last few years. Geoff has won the Chiltern Wonderland 50, run 14:31 for second at the Autumn 100 and in 2020 enjoyed a podium finish at the TP100. The last two SDW100's, Geoff has led until the dying stages. In 2019 he dropped at mile 96. This year, he almost dropped on the road into Eastbourne, but hiked it to the finish taking several hours to cover the last 5km. He will definitely want to nail this one.
Pete Windross: Past winner of the TP100, he is also the man who passed Geoff to win the SDW100 in June of this year. That followed a third place at the 2021 TP100. This will be his third of four events in an attempt to finish his second Grand Slam with us. He originally held the record for the four, before losing it to John Melbourne and he will need a strong run here to give himself a chance of staying in touch of it. Last year Pete led this race for two thirds having gone out hard before dropping out, so he like Geoff will be looking for a great race here on several levels.
Pete Windross (Photo: Stuart March Photography)
Norbert Mihalik: Incredibly talented Hungarian residing in Northampton. Norbert has twice finished just under 20 hours at this event, but he is capable of so much more. He has a 24hr PB of 259km, 100 mile times in the low 14 hour range on route to his last couple. With a new 12 Hour best of 149km set four weeks ago, he is in shape.
Matt Gallagher: Seventh at the 2021 TP100. Second at the 2020 Thames Trot.
Ed Catmur: Ed continues his path back to his best. He won this event with a then course record 15:44 in 2013. Since then he has been on the injury list but is now back close to his best. He was second at the Autumn 100 in 15:38 last October and this year has a fourteenth at the TP100 followed by a more recent third at the Jurassic Coast 100.
Jack Bromley: Fifth at the SDW50 back in April in 6:38. Second at the Windermere Marathon this year in 2:40.
Rebecca Lane: Rebecca has seven, top ten finishes at our 100 Milers. In all of our events, apart from this one where she took twelfth in 2019 as part of her Grand Slam. A drop at the WW100 last month may leave her hungry to retribution here!
Patricia Patterson: Patricia took third at the Spine Race in 2020. She has also previously won the Serpent Trail 100km and finished fifth at the Spine Challenger.
Maxime Lelong: Maxime was second at the Endurance Life Sussex Ultra earlier this year. She also took second at a couple of other 50km ultras in 2020, this looks to be her first 100 miler.
As always you can follow the race live here from 0500 on Saturday morning.
The second edition of both the Wendover Woods 100 Mile and Night 50km are upon us.
The 100 kicks off this Friday July 9th at 0800 and our small, hardy group of souls have 32 hours to complete 10 full laps of the 10 mile course. With 2000 feet of climb per loop, this is the toughest event we stage/ have staged. In the only previous edition of this race, we had 20 finishers from 45 starters, with only four women completing the course. We are expecting numbers to be close to identical this time.
The Night 50km begins between 2230 and 2300 on Saturday 10th July in a rolling start format and runners have nine and a half hours to complete three full laps. Many will be running their first ultra and it's such great fun for us to watch the race unfold around the course, with the woods closed to all other users and with the sunrise expected as the final runners begin their final loop.
Below is a quick preview of the main contenders for the overall positions.
WENDOVER WOODS 100: MEN
Stuart Leaney: There really is only one man to beat. Crowned the King of Wendover in 2019, Stuart finished the 100 here in 18:56. He is twice winner and course record holder of the 50 mile here too.
Alex Tate: Winner of three of the four ultras he has run. Alex also ran home fourth at the 2019 NDW100 in 16:54 which puts him 8th on the all time list for that race.
Paul Radford: Paul is coming up on eight years of solid performances across a variety of ultras. Stand out's are a sub 30 hour finish at Spartathlon and his 224km at Barcelona 24hr. He has finished second at the Ridgeway Challenge three times. But he also has the pace over shorter distances too. He knows this loop well as this is home turf for him.
Kevin Shannon: Another local, Kevin knows this loop really well having placed joint third at the Night 50km here in 2019 and 6th at the 50 mile in 2018. He's had lots of really solid results over distances from 50km right up to 100 miles with strong finishes at events like UTMB and NDW100 in his resume.
Mark Shannon: Usually runs with his brother Kevin above, at the Night 50km he was joint third with him and then went on to run home in the top ten in the 50 mile as well. A similar resume to Kevin across the long events.
Other front runners: Andrew Mckillop has had some good results at the 50 mile on this course plus a lot of 100 mile experience and dropped out late last time in the 100 here. Look for him to be consistent this time. Tom Sawyer is another super experienced runner both on this course and at the longer stuff. 8th at the 50km here in 2019. 5th at the GUCR being the stand out.
Stuart Leaney (Photo; Stuart March Photography)
WENDOVER WOODS 100: WOMEN
There are just seven women in the starting field. But they are unsuprisingly some of the most experienced regulars from our events and whom are extremely consistent.
Rebecca Lane: Our 2019 Grand Slam 100 mile Champion. Many top ten finishes in our 100's but also at shorter distances. Has twice finished the 50 here too. So has the long experience and the course experience combined.
Ally Whitlock: Has already claimed fourth place at both the SDW50 and SDW100 this year. Previously 10th in the 50 here in 2019.
Magda Strycharska: Made big improvements in 2019 running home fifth at the Autumn 100 and sixth at the Chiltern Wonderland 50. Magda won Endure 24 in 2018. Has also run the 50 here before.
Ally Whitlock (Photo; Stuart March Photography)
WENDOVER WOODS NIGHT 50km
A field of 150 are expected to toe the line to go through the night.
WOMEN: In the women's race, Linn Erixon Sahlstrom is an experienced runner with plenty of good results at hilly and mountainous races. The elevation will prove no obstacle to her having raced competitively at UTS, UTMR and TDS amongst others. She has twice won the Jurassic 100. Krysia Smith recently finished 8th at the SDW100 and has a previous sub 20 hour seventh place at the TP100 to her name. She has also had good results at this distance including a podium finish at Hurtwood 50km.
MEN: Neil Martin is the stand out mens runner, our 2019 Grand Slam 50 mile Champion, he has finished in the top ten at the 50 mile twice and was sixth at this event in 2019. He has almost two dozen ultras to his name, the majority in the 50km to 50 mile range, on trail and almost every one involves a top ten finish. Chris Collins whilst less experienced than Neil, was fifth just ahead of him in 2019 and runs again here.
Follow both events live via www.centurionrunning.com/live - pages will be published just prior to the event. Runners of both events will carry trackers so you can watch the racing unfold as it happens.
The 2021 South Downs Way 100 is expected to have between 420 and 450 starters and in the process become our largest ever starting field. As part of a big field, the depth of competition is substantial.
The longest standing record at our events is still Jean Beaumonts women's course record here, of 16:56 in 2013. Done, in her words, on almost no training! Are we finally going to see it taken down?
The weather looks perfect for volunteers and staff, but warm for runners with a high of 25 degrees forecast and not a lot of wind. That will need to be factored in to everybodys pace strategy for best results.
A huge shout out to the 19 Grand Slammers who are finishing off their 2020 elongated slam at this event after this race was cancelled due to lock down, last November. The 19 hardy souls and their times so far can be found here.
Mel Venables: 2016 British 100km Champion. Winner 2020 NDW100. Has already won the GUCR in 2021 which just a couple of weeks ago is a short turn around time. Lots of wins and podiums at shorter ultras.
Karen Hacker: Winner of the 2019 NDW100. Podium finishes at Wendover Woods 50 and all three 'Race to the' Events over the last 4-5 years.
Dominique James: Finishing off her Grand Slam from 2020 here, she finished third in each of the first three - all three of the 100s we held in 2020.
Allie Bailey: Also completing her Grand Slam journey here. She finished 5th, 4th and 5th in the three 100s of 2020.
Karen Doak: Three finishes here with a best of sixth place. Fifth at the 2019 NDW100.
Mandy Regenass: Has a second and third at the SDW50 in 2017 and 2018 amongst other solid performances.
Krysia Smith: Seventh at the TP100 in 2019 in a sub 20hr time.
Emily Dixon: Third at Country to Capital this year in 5:55. Winner Imber Ultra 40 miler in 2020.
Rob Payne: Team GB 24hr runner. First Tooting Bec 24hr with a 100 mile split of 14:19. First NDW50 2019. Second WHW Race and NDW100 2019. 76th at this event in 2017 in a time just under 24hrs!
Geoff Cheshire: First at Race to the Stones and Chiltern Wonderland 50. Second at the Autumn 100 in 14:31 and third at the TP100 in 2020. Geoff led here for 90+ miles in 2019 before dropping at the final check point at Mile 96.
Pete Windross: Has already finished third at the SDW50 and fourth at the TP100 in 2021. First at the 2020 Gloucester 24hr. Winner of the TP100 in 2018 in his (at the time) Grand Slam record setting year when he went on to 5th, 6th and 3rd at our other three 100 milers. Has three finishes here with a best of 16:38.
Paul Russhard: Second at the NDW100 in 2018. Half a dozen top ten finishes at our 50s including a second at the NDW50 and in late 2020, his most recent result a sixth at the SDW50.
Peter Abraham: Third at the Autumn 100 in 2017 in under 16 hours. Winner at Connemara and the Canalathon 75km in years past.
Peter Jackson: Second at the TP100 in 2018. Winner of South Wales 100 in 2019. 28:57 at Spartathlon 2019.
Max Rusby: Second at Kennett and Avon Canal Race in 2019 and has posted two wins at shorter ultras.
Daniel Weller: Winner of the Chiltern Ridge Ultra Trail 50km this year. Third at Wendover Woods 50. First at Beacons Ultra 50. 8th at SDW50 in 2018.
Matt Gallagher: Seventh at TP100 in 16:21 in May this year.
James Hurrell and Jack Galloway relatively new to the ultra scene but both good road runners with 2:34 marathons apiece.
FOLLOW THE RACE
You can track all the action live on our tracking page here. The race kicks off between 0430 and 0600 Saturday morning in a rolling start. Thank you so much in advance to the 120 volunteers that will make this race all that it is.