Centurion Clubs Around The World

Last updated 5 May 2017

Worldwide there are six Centurion Clubs which hold qualifying events (annually in most cases) and award centurion status to those participants who can walk 100 miles within 24 hours. Five of the six clubs are currently active. In the table below, you can read about them and check out their websites and centurions lists. The centurion lists have been produced by Rudy Schoors (thanks Rudy) and are current as of 5 May 2017.


Badge - Centurions

The British Centurions 

were formed in 1911 and have operated continuously since then. They hold one event per year and potential Centurions must complete the requisite 100 miles in this event to qualify for membership.

Originally, membership was to be limited to 100, but this was rescinded in October 1930 as the numbers of members swelled well past the initial estimates.

At the inaugural meeting in 1911, James Edwin Fowler-Dixon was retrospectively accorded the number "1" for his performance in 1877 and was elected the first President and held that position until his death in 1943. The position has been deemed to be 'for life' and there have only 9 Presidents in the entire history of the club. Carl Lawton (C750) is the current President.

The London to Brighton and back (19 Centurion races) and the Leicester to Skegness (11 Centurion races) races were popular yearly qualifying opportunities until eventually motor traffic forced walkers off the roads. In recent years the annual event has been held at venues in London, Colchester, Newmarket and on the Isle of Man.

In most years, the qualifying event is held as a road event but approximately every 10 years, it is held as a track based event so that walkers can test themselves against the official British records.

The official Centurions website is found at http://www.centurions1911.org.uk/index.html

In 2011, the British Centurions celebrated 100 years of existence amidst big celebrations and they continue to lead the way into their second century of existence.

The 2016 English Centurions qualifying race, which took place in Redcar on the weekend of 7-8 August, saw 10 walkers complete 100 miles. Of these 10 walkers, 6 were first-time English Centurions (C1167-1172). This takes the overall tally to 1170 (as numbers 99 and 453 are not allocated - now that's a story!)

The Centurion list as of August 2016 (compliments of Rudy Schoors) -> List of British Centurions.pdf


Centurion Vereniging Nederland (C.V.N.)

is the second oldest Centurion club in the world.

After L. Schol, Centurion 291, had become the first Dutch Centurion, more and more Dutch men and women travelled to Great Britain to obtain the Centurion title. Besides the British Centurions, the largest group of foreign Centurions were the Dutch. To stay in contact with each other and to represent the Dutch contingent of Centurions, Centurion Vereniging Nederland (C.V.N.) was founded on the 12th of February 1966. C.V.N. spreads news about past and future races amongst its members, organizes trips to the British races and has a Centurion reunion each year.

In other words, C.V.N. is a brotherhood of all the Continental European based walkers who are members of the Centurion League based in England. C.V.N. does not hold any event of its own - it is a club that exists simply to honour those walkers from Netherlands, Belgium and surrounding countries who qualify at British Centurions. The current count is over 300 members.

C.V.N. has its own website at http://www.centurionverenigingnederland.nl and it puts out its own regular club magazine.

Continental Centurions Badge

The Continental Centurions

were formed in 1973 and, in that same year, the first Continental Centurion number was allocated. Continental Centurion 1 is Jan Vos, who is still an active walker today. The rules to obtain this title are roughly the same as for Centurions.  In the Netherlands, an annual race walking event is held, either in Weert (around the Iron Man lake, organised by the O.L.A.T.) in odd years (2007, 2009, 2011 etc.) or in Schiedam (in the Beatrix park, organised by the R.W.V.) in even years (2008, 2010, 2012 etc.). These events include the 24 hours event, a 100 kilometers race, a 50 miles race and a 50 kilometers race. These events are the only opportunity to obtain the Continental Centurion title, the Honderdman title or the Kennedyvriend title.

In the 2016 qualifying race in Schiedam in May, 33 walkers completed the 100 mile distance and 23 new Continental centurions were added. This takes the number count to 450 but there are actually only 448 members. As for the English Centurions, two numbers (151 and 159) are not allocated.

They are mainly Dutch, but there are also German, Belgian, British, Danish and Australian Continental Centurions. There is no specific website for the continental centurions so you have to check out tht R.W.V or O.L.A.T. websites for further information.

OLAT website: http://www.olat.nl/
RWV website: http://www.rotterdamsewandelsportvereniging.nl/

Continental Centurion list as of July 2016 (compliments of Rudy Schoors) -> List of Continental Centurions.pdf

US-badge

The Centurions Club of America

was formed by the Columbia Track Club in 1967 and held an annual 24 hour walking event each year for nearly 20 years. Nearly all the early events were held in Colombia in Missouri but as time went on, other venues were used in places such as San diago. Their last event was held in 1983 and the books stood closed at 48 Centurions.

It was with great excitement that the Centurion world greeted the news that this group had reformed in 2000 under the auspices of Ulli Kamm and his wife Traudl. That same year, Ulli organised a qualifying race in his home town of Golden in Colorado and 9 new members overcame snow and freezing conditions to reach the 100m mile mark and qualify as American Centurions. Since then, further new members have been added year by year.

Since 2003, the yearly qualifying event has been held in conjunction with the Ultracentric 24/48 Hour Carnival and the event now advertises that those who complete 100 miles within 24 Hours will be awarded the Ultracentric (UC) Centurion Award.

In 2016, Ulli stepped down from his job as American Centurion coordinator and the baton was passed to American Centurion Rob Robertson.

The American Centurion website is http://www.unitedstatescenturionwalkers.com.

In the 2016 qualifier event, held in September in Owega, NY, 7 new American Centurions were welcomed to the club so the count now stands at 87 members.

USA Centurion list as of October 2016 (compliments of Rudy Schoors) -> List of USA Centurions.pdf

Aust Centurion Logo

The Australian Centurions

was formed in 1971. The club holds one qualifying event each year and it is normally in April at Coburg, a Melbourne suburb in the State of Victoria. The event is normally track based and competitors must face the challenge of completing just over 402 laps of the 400m track to achieve the elusive 100 mile mark.

However, the 2013 and 2014 qualifying events were held in Albert Park, Melbourne, as road based qualifiers. The normal annual qualifier has now returned to Coburg will continue to be track based as a general rule.

The club also grants centurion membership to walkers who achieve the 100 mile standard in other events such as the Sri Chinmoy Australian 24 Hour championship, provided centurion scutineers are available to monitor and verify the performance. This is different to the other Centurion clubs who only accept performances done in their specific event.

The club has extended its mandate from the original 100 mile concept and now seeks to encourage ultra walking throughout Australia. As such, it recognises and oversees performances from 6 Hours to 6 Days and maintains and administers Open and Age Group Records over a wide variety of Distances and Times.

The club also puts out a regular ultra walking newsletter and maintains a comprehensive website at http://www.centurions.org.au

In 2017, 1 new Centurion was added to the list to take the membership total to 71 members.

Australian Centurion list as of 5 May 2017 (compliments of Rudy Schoors) -> List of Australian Centurions.pdf

NZ Centurions Badge

The New Zealand Centurions

was formed in November 1998 and was enthusiastically run by Dudley Harris until his retirement from club administration. 

Philip Sharp maintains a comprehensive website at http://www.math.auckland.ac.nz/~sharp/nzcenturions/

As well as recognising centurion status, the New Zealand Centurions recognise the achievement of walking 100 kilometres in 14 hours 30 minutes.

Like many other national bodies in New Zealand representing minor sports, they are currently looking at ways to attract more people to centurionism and ultrawalking. One possibly being considered is to recognise other achievements such as walking 80 kilometres in 12 hours or 40 kilometres in six hours, two achievements recognised by the Australian Centurions.

They do not usually organise their own events. Instead, members enter events organised by other organisations, such as by the New Zealand Sri-Chinmoy marathon team.

In the 2015 qualifier, held in conjunction with the New Zealand Sri CHinmoy 24 Hour Track Championships in Auckland in October, 2 new members were added to take the membership total to 21 members. Alas, there have been no further members added in 2016.

NZ Centurion list as of July 2016 (compliments of Rudy Schoors) -> List of NZ Centurions.pdf


The Malaysia Centurions

was formed in Malaysia in 2001 and held their first 24 hour walk in August of that year. The inaugural race saw 11 new members. The next event was held in August 2003 and saw 12 centurion finishers and hence 12 new members to make 23 Malaysian centurions in total - from 15 countries. Interestingly, organiser Khoo Chong Beng had decided that each finisher would be awarded a Malaysian Centurion number even if it was a second finish. This is the only Centurion Club which operated in this fashion. The other clubs only award a centurion number on the occasion of the first finish.

In the 2005 event, 12 finishers meant a further 12 centurion numbers were added to the list with the 12 representing CZE, ESP, BEL, FRA, RUS, GER, NED, AUS, MAS and BLR. No race can claim to be more world-inclusive than the Malaysian event.

While the first 3 events had been held in the relative coolness of the Genting Highlands resort, their next event, in August 2007, was staged in central Kuala Lumpur. The tough conditions ensured that only 5 walkers reached the 100 mile target. Of the 5 successful walkers, 3 were Malaysian, indicating the increasing standard of local ultra walking within that country. The other interesting note is that Kenyan women finished 1st, 2nd and 4th in the women's division, definitely another first in the world of ultra walking. Is this perhaps the first sign of an African interest in the ultra running and ultra walking disciplines.

Unfortunately no qualifying events was held in in subsequent years and it has been confirmed that this centurion chapter has folded for good.

The Malaysian Centurion count stands at 40 members. The club grew quickly and was one of the real success stories in ultra walking during its short lifetime.

This event was unique in a number of ways
- it had a great mass participation and was a much bigger event numerically than other centurion events around the world
- it had firm Government support and offered cash prizes and subsidises overseas participants
- it regularly attracted large numbers of entrants from around the world
- any judging infringement incurred a 1 lap penalty, yet another innovation unique to this event.

As well as the 24 Hour event, Malaysia played host to the very successful Penang International 12 Hour event which was also held every 2 years. IN recent years, this 12 Hour event has moved around to various cities and is still held in December of each year.

View the full results of all Malaysian Centurion events at http://www.championchip.com.my/

The Malaysian organisers never recorded 100 mile times for those who reached that mark - they only recorded the final 24 Hour distance. This final distance is shown for each centurion in the Malaysian Centurion list (compliments of Rudy Schoors) -> List of Malaysian Centurions.pdf

African Centurions Badge

The African Centurions

was formed in 2016, with its inaugural qualifying event held on the weekend of 22-23 October 2016 on Robben Island in South Africa. 19 of the 49 solo walk entrants (15 men and 4 women) completed the full 100 mile distance, thus earning badges C1-C19. It is expected that an annual event will be held.

Event website: http://www.africancenturion.com/

African Centurion list as of November 2016 (compliments of Rudy Schoors) -> List South Africa.pdf