James founded Centurion Running in 2010. Having been fortunate enough to race frequently across both the UK and the World at that point he wanted to bring the supported style of racing he had enjoyed so much elsewhere to the UK. Since the initial North Downs Way events in 2011, he has race directed all bar one of our events, the Autumn 100 which he enjoyed from the other side of the table as a runner instead. He set up the Centurion Coaching arm in 2012 which has now grown to a team of five. And added the Centurion Store in 2013 as the demand grew for quality gear, apparel and footwear relevant to our trail and ultra scene here in the UK. He is a passionate runner himself, having competed in ultras since 2006. His proudest moments coming as he represented Team GB at the 24hr format in 2016 and 2018.
Nici is in charge of many areas of Centurion. Her background was as a volunteer as early as 2012, but she quickly progressed to join the staff team where she has grown increasingly pivotal ever since. She co-ordinates all of our volunteers for the events, ensuring that over the course of the year, almost a thousand people are in the right place at the right time and are armed with all of the details to empower them to help our runners in the best way possible. On race day you will find her in charge of the registration and finish line teams. Day to day Nici handles most of the communication via our info email account. Dealing with the majority of requests and questions we get fielded from all groups - a huge task. Harking back to her old 'day job' Nici is also in charge of all of the Health and Safety protocols and Risk Assessments. She's also involved with our store, keeping the back end of our website updated with the latest products and managing brand accounts. Her enthusiasm also stems from her own running background, with her personal favourite the Lakeland 50 which she has finished multiple times.
Drew is one of our core staff, yet so much of what he does is behind the scenes. Along with James and Jan, Drew does all of the event logistics management, pre-race packing and post race clean up. On race day he is everywhere, from setting up the start, to managing all of the course markings for each event. He is always the first to arrive and the last to leave a race weekend, when everyone is tucked up in bed after an event, it is he and James clearing bin juice out of the back of the rental trucks - glamour!!! No job is ever too big or too small for him. Drew has worked every race since the Thames Path 100 in 2012, event two in our history. His own running career is extensive twith well over 20 x 100 mile+ finishes from flat to truly mountainous, with 3 successful completions of Ronda Del Cims in Andorra. He's also amongst other things finished UTMB, Leadville, Ehunmilak, GUCR, Lakeland 100, Arc of Attrition, Istria, 100 miles Sud De France and the WHW Race . He is the ultimate fan of the sport and can often be found crewing, pacing or just spectating at events up and down the country and internationally. He brings a true runners head to our events, which is a huge part of what makes them friendly and safe. Not least, he also 'invented' the Chiltern Wonderland and Wendover Woods 50 courses - so many have to thank him for those too!
Chris began life with Centurion as a runner back in 2013 where he finished the third edition of the NDW50. He went on to run the SDW50 in 2014 before moving through a number of different roles in the team. He is responsible today for having constructed and maintaining our main website for which we are truly grateful. In 2017 he branched out to create his own company racedirector, and is now responsible for both the entry and timing systems at all of our events. Behind the scenes he is our IT guru, communications master and bascially keeps Centurion above water on the tech side. He also handles all of the web side of the British Ultrarunning Podcast. You can find him on race weekends running around with timing beacons ensure every runner is accounted for, everywhere on course. As a runner he has completed many of the tougher ultras on the scene, including Lakeland 100, Spine Challenger, CCC, Rocky Raccoon 100 and the Eiger Ultra Trail.
Neil is our head Logistics Sweeper. It's his role to set up and manage the first aid station on every course, before visiting and closing all aid stations down the course. In doing so he collects all of our equipment, accounts for every runner through every check point, manages the run sweepers that clear the markings behind our final runners and co-ordinates with staff up and down the route to ensure supplies are all in place. He is an avid ultra runner himself, recently finishing our inaugural Wendover Woods 50km and a huge fan of canicross!
Dave ran our South Downs Way 100 in 2012, earning a 100 miles One Day buckle in the process. He then volunteered at the two other 2012 events before he made the step up to staff. Since the start of 2013, he has driven our sweeper minibus. He is there for the runners no matter the time of day or night, picking them up and re-uniting them with their bags or loved ones up and down the course. Those who are regularly towards the rear of the field in our events know Dave well, he is so supportive and will bend over backwards to help everyone.
Nick provides the cherry on the icing on the cake at our events. The professional chef from Northampton is in charge of cooking the hot food for runners at all of our finish lines. Whilst this gig is far below the incredibly cooking abilities, Nick loves it because as he says 'this is real world cooking'!! Nick goes the extra mile to provide everyone with options- he can usually be found cooking hot dogs, bacon rolls or hot chilli - always with vegan and gluten free options. He also happens to be Drew Sheffields Dad, so comes with all of the kudos that entails !
When James founded Centurion Running in October 2010, it was Al who was first on board to bring the dream to life. At the time he was working with James at a company called Clear Channel based in Golden Square, London. James was in the trading team and Al was Head of design. But the main efforts around that period were extra curricular with regular late nights and early mornings in Als Brick Lane abode. When James brought the idea of Centurion to Al, he jumped on it straight away and built the original website. In the first couple of years, Al did everything alongside James. Packing vans, sweeping the courses, logistics, IT and sometimes when we had time - the design work! He is reponsible for all of our logos, awards and works with Chris Mills to keep our website looking good. Now based once again in his native Australia, we do most things remotely. And miss his presence at the events greatly.
Marc is a keen biker and runner - and joined us on incredibly short notice in 2016 when he stepped in to do aid station set up for us at the South Downs Way 100. Having plenty of experience working at endurance events he took straight to it and hasn't looked back. You can find him at our events in charge of the Drop and Finish Line Bag logistics.
'Little Russ' joined us in 2015. A regular volunteer at almost every start line he gradually evolved into Staff as he took charge of kit check. Runners will still find him there at every race that he isn't running himself, along with setting up the race start and finish areas. Russ' running background is extensive, with finishes at the SDW50 and NDW50 amongst many other things, evolving into his first 100 mile buckle at the Autumn 100 in 2016. He has subsequently also gone on to finish the Grand Union Canal Race amongst many other things.
Debs is part of our Ultra Team and is responsible for having created and grown our instagram accounts. Her creative genius and photography skills are nearly matched by a stellar running career which has included amongst a host of the biggest international events around, wins at the SDW100 and NDW100 - for which she holds the ladies course record.