Organizing and Holding a 100 Mile Walk
There are a number of items specific to the 100 mile event. They are listed here to help potential event organizers.
Is it a race?
No. It is a challenge in which persons try to walk 100 miles within 24 hours. To our mind, it does not matter if the person finishes in 18 hours or 23 hours. All finishers become Centurions. We acknowledge a best performance (fastest time) within Australia but that's where it ends.
This event is not judged strictly according to the rules of race-walking. The contact rule applies as normal but the straight leg rule is applied leniently. Walkers cannot normally maintain a strict race-walking action over such a long distance and time and eventually resort to brisk street walking. Some will adopt this technique right from the start. In such a technique, the leg action does not necessarily strictly obey the racewalking rules but it is acceptable to us. The rule should only be applied to the obvious case of bent leg running or creeping which is always illegal.
When we used to run our own standalone event, we used to encourage
to accompany the walkers on their journey (especially during the night
and in the latter stages of the race when the going gets tough. We
required the person to walk on the outside
of the competitor and obvious pacing was not allowed. Now that we run
our event in conjunction with the Coburg Harriers we enforce their
stricter rules on pacing and do now allow helpers or others to walk
continuous laps with competitors. Obviously, common sense must prevail
A competitor may take food or drink at any time and may carry food or drink with him as he progresses around the circuit. He may be passed this by his support team. He does not need to pick it up from a feeding table as in other races.
The final stages
It is our wish that all centurions should be allowed
the honour of completing the final stages of the event unaccompanied.
recommend that for the final 10 laps of a track event or the final 4 km
a road event, the competitor should be left alone. Thus spectators see
finishing the event as an individual. This adds to the symbolism of the
Clothing and Numbering
Competitors may wear long tights but we do not generally allow
tracksuit bottoms as we must be able to judge the walking action to
ensure fairness. Numbers must be warn front and back at all times.
Leaving the track
Competitors may leave the track at any point and for any length of time. The clock keeps running and they have only 24 hours to complete the event so this is generally not a big problem. There are only 2 provisos with regard to this.
- The competitor must reenter the track from the same point at which he left.
- The competitor may go to such places as clubrooms attached to the venue, to support tents or to vehicles at the trackside but the competitor should not leave the environs of the event. To do so would mean that the race organizers would lose control of the event.
Trophies and awards
The awarding of the Centurion
medallion and of the Centurion Certificate and the automatic life
of the Centurion Club are reward enough. This does not mean that the
organizing the event cannot seek their own sponsorship and provide
own awards or charge their own entry fees. These are matters outside
control. Thus the Cogurg Harriers award trophies to the first 3 male
and female finishers in each race category.
In the old days, each competitor had to arrange for his own
and support team. But nowadays the event managers normally look after
the recording of laps for all competitors. At Coburg, we use a computer
system to record laps and progressive results are posted hourly.
We generally conduct our events on athletics tracks as we can then verify the distance walked and can supervise the event easily. The track should also have adequate lighting to enable to competitors to be sighted at all times. Ideally a trackside portable toilet should also be hired for competitors. At the Coburg event, the canteen in the clubrooms is available for the full 24 hours with continuous tea and coffee, food and drink, microwave cookers, etc.There have been occasions when road courses or courses such as racecourses have been accepted but this must be checked with the Centurions Club first. We may wish to make some input on the course or recommend a particular course of action.
The event should be run by accredited officials and the Centurion Club should be notified beforehand. We will then try to ensure that we have one of our Centurions onsite to verify the performance and possibly to make the presentations of medallions and certificates and to welcome new members. The lap distance must be authenticated. For a track event this is not a major concern but for other venues, this is a necessity. A surveyor's report is generally accepted as sufficient proof. WE WILL NOT NECESSARILY ACCEPT A PERFORMANCE IF WE CANNOT ADEQUATELY VERIFY THAT THE PERFORMANCE WAS A LEGITIMATE WALKING ACHIEVEMENT OVER AN ACTUAL 100 MILE DISTANCE.