Monthly Archives: October 2016

My Goal

Wow I find myself once again this year setting a Goal. I have had a BIG year. My goal now is to continue on with my journey to join every world Centurion club. Only two are left. Next up is The Netherlands. There are no American members of the Continental European Centurion Club. The race is the first weekend of June in Weert, Netherlands. I have wanted to race in the Netherlands for a long time. I just could not make a race there fit my calendar. I have never raced a Centurion Qualifier without at least two Dutch racers in the race. The Dutch are very good even paced Racewalkers. I am excited. However the race is seven months away. Back to using Marathons and a 50K for training. Kick off with Back2Back Marathons New Years eve and Day. Then I plan to race for a big personal best at the Cowtown 50K in February. A local Marathon in March. Then my Big Goal Race in The Netherlands.

The quest to Walk 100 miles in 24 Hours in The Netherlands!

Going to be Fun!


October 2016 mileage


September 25 Days 229.6 Miles
August 23 Days 241.6 Miles
July 26 Days 248.8 Miles
June 25 Days 260.0 Miles
May 26 Days 261.7 Miles
April 23 Days 231.1 Miles
March 26 Days 235.4 Miles
February 24 Days 220.2 Miles
January 26 Days 283.9 Miles

Total 2016 243 Days 2441.9 Miles

Training October 22nd – 28th

This week 100.0 Miles

Saturday October 22nd – Start of the African Centurion. Robben Island, South Africa

Sunday October 23rd – Finished 100 Miles 22 Hours 36 minutes 03 seconds

Monday October 24th – Recovery Day

Tuesday October 25th –  Travel Day (A LOOOOONG Travel Day.)

Wednesday October 26th –  Recovery From Travel Day

Thursday October 27th – I am in a pattern. Recovery Day

Friday October 28th – Date Night with my Wife!

WOW! What a Race. Hardest Centurion Race I have done. Word of advise. Don’t plan Centurion races 11 weeks apart. I really felt my race in England during the last third of my African race. These races are tough on your body. You can feel recovered. You can feel rested. Deep down it takes me longer to be FULLY recovered. But hey. I was not going to quit. I have had tough races before. The scenery in Africa made the pain more bearable.

Back to easy walks and strength training next week. Nice slow recovery.  I have back2back Marathons in 9 weeks to train for. New Years Eve and Day.

14859679_10154690312104851_6079984488876440692_o  Robben Island, South Africa. Looking toward Cape Town. These shells were along the road on both sides. The insides were a metallic silver. Photo by Michel Evans.

img_0064  Sunday Morning. Photo by Anthony Long.

img_0063  Penguins. Yes that is correct. Walking with Penguins in South Africa. Who knew?  A Centurion race with million dollar scenic views. Photo by Liz Ingram.


The Inaugural African Centurion Qualifier

The Inaugural African Centurion Qualifier on Robben Island, South Africa. October 22nd and 23rd. Not long after I joined the Centurion Brotherhood I heard this rumor. “Africa is going to have a Centurion Race”. I had my fingers crossed it was true and that the race fit my calendar. The rumor became reality and it did fit my calendar. I was so excited to race an inaugural Centurion Race.

When I first started walking January 2013 I joined a walking support site. One Member on that site was from South Africa. Dave Ingram. Dave has walked the Famous Comrades Ultra six times. Dave is a speed and endurance walker mix. When I started it was his training and finish times I tried to match. Dave also entered the African Centurion. Now I had a chance to meet Dave and walk a race with him. We were not alone. I was not surprised to see Sandra Brown had signed up. Success in Africa would give Sandra SEVEN World Centurion Badges. The only person in the world with seven. The elite field of Centurion walkers did not stop there. Triple Centurion’s  John Kilmartin, Frans Leijtens and Antoine Hunting. Double Centurion’s Robbie Callister, Pete Miller and Janette Morgan. Centurion’s Nour Addine Ayyoub, Suzannah Corkill, Richard Gerrard, James Quirk, Philip Vermeulen, Marco Bloemerts, Remy van den Brand, Vinny Lynch, Kersten Mosig, Werner Alberts and Chris Cale.  19 Centurion’s and 31 elite walkers seeking their first Centurion Badge. A large field of 49 racers. Looking at that list it is not hard to figure out what was about to happen. There was going to be a race for African Centurion C1. A walking race like I had never seen before. Racers walking my best ever Marathon pace for 100 miles. As for me I didn’t care what number I ended up with. I just wanted to finish.

The race setting was Robben Island. Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners. From 1961, Robben Island was used by the South African government as a prison for political prisoners. The  former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. To date, three of the former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become President of South Africa. Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe and current President Jacob Zuma. It is quite likely that the gravel we walked on was hand crushed by these men.  Now, Robben Island is a World Heritage Site and museum.

On Saturday morning we caught the ferry over to Robben Island from Cape Town. The wind howled most of the race. The waves were so big a bunch of racers were Turning green. Not the start to a long walking weekend you would want. Being the first time for the African Centurion all of us had many questions about what to expect. Most were answered after two laps. The view of the Atlantic Ocean looking toward Cape Town for 24 hours was not going to get old. When a race organizer tells you there is one small hill on the race course. Check to see how much mountain goat the director has in his family tree. Don’t trust his judgement. Bananas and potatoes are good race foods for endurance events. They are not the only good foods for endurance events. I might not ever eat another potato. The sun down here on Robben island will burn the darkest of skin. It can be the hottest place on earth and the coldest place. You will experience both in this race. Sometimes on the same lap.

When it got dark Saturday night the race changed. The 7km loop around the island spread everyone out. Most of the night you felt like the only person on the island. The only person in the world. There are a few movies that I watch every chance I get. One of those is Gladiator with Russell Crowe. Gladiator was on the plane’s movie list from Amsterdam to Cape Town. I watched it for over the one hundredth time. Two times in the movie the director depicts  Crowe as floating between earth and heaven. Both with an equal pull on him. For the whole overnight on Robben island I had the Atlantic Ocean on my right. The high winds were crashing large waves from Antartica against the rocks and old ship wrecks. On the rocks were penguins. Along the road were bleached clam shells that shined bright silver in my headlamp like a pirates treasure. Across the water stood Table mountain. The only clouds were in a circle around the top of the giant. Cape Town’s orange city lights went half way up the mountain. It looked like a lava flow coming down the side. Above to the right in the night sky was the Southern Cross. It was shining like new money. To my left was the islands light house. Sending out its beam of light all night. Just when you thought it could not get better, up rose a large half moon.  All night I walked in this beauty. I felt suspended between earth and heaven. I felt so exposed. So vulnerable. I could look into every corner of my soul. I could remember every detail of my life all the way back to my own beginning . It was a peace and euphoria like no other.

Then unfortunately or maybe fortunately the sun began to rise. As the sun climbed I fell back down to earth. I had some problems. My left knee was shot. I have had this problem before. It is from leaning. I was listing to the left. That put pressure on my knee. As my body gives in to fatigue during a one hundred mile race my core breaks down. Looking back now I realize doing two international Centurion races in 11 weeks was not a good idea. I was sure the second toe on my right foot would need amputating. My right butt check also was hurting. Amputation not an option. I had some extra time in the bank from earlier in the race. The way I was feeling I was going to need it. I managed to catch my friends Dave, John and Frans. I can’t start as fast as they do. Rather , I steadily plod along. I would be out of the race if I started as fast as they do. There was no visible clock at the race. I had to race by feel. The advantage of all the Centurion pace work I do. I knew what lap I was on but not the time I walked the lap. This caused me to push more than usual. I had one recurring thought. I did not want to have to do this again. Every Centurion I have done the finish is very special. I have never wanted to finish more than I did at this race. I loved the race. Yes as with any new race they have some bugs to fix. I promise you the 19 new African Centurion’s EARNED their numbers this weekend. Sandra Brown got her 7th Centurion badge. My friend Dave Ingram, well of course he got his Centurion. He lives for this kind of challenge.

I became African Centurion number 11. Finish time 22 hours 36 minutes 3 seconds. The most beautiful hardest race I have ever done.



Love this African Centurion Badge.


Adding up the Miles.

africa Photo by Vicus van der Merwe.

A great video of some of the African Centurion. A short cameo by me early on.


Training October 15th – 21st

This week 23.2 Miles

Saturday October 15th – 4.8 Miles

Sunday October 16th – 8 Miles in 1:43:22.

Monday October 17th – 4 miles

Tuesday October 18th –  4 Miles

Wednesday October 19th –  Travel Day to Cape Town South Africa

Thursday October 20th – Arrive in Cape Town 11pm

Friday October 21st – 2.4 miles to get my legs working again.

I plan each race well in advance. Several months in advance. Train week after week always looking ahead toward the big race day. I daydream about the race. Daydream about the trip. Think about the event for months. Now I find myself in South Africa. Just hours before the start. I can’t help but wonder, How did this race sneak up on me? What a beautiful country. Ocean, Mountains everyone helpful and friendly. This race will be like living in a dream. I am not nervous. Hard to describe how I feel. I just know how I am about to push my body and mind to accomplish my goal. Amazing what one can do when we set extreme goals.

robben-island-pic Robben Island looking toward Cape Town and Table Mountain.

Training October 8th – 14th

This week 51.2 Miles

Saturday October 8th – 4.8 Miles, 5 sets of 71 push-ups. 21 minutes of Planks.

Sunday October 9th – 20 Miles in 4:08:48. 3 sets of 30 squats.

Monday October 10th – 4.8 Miles, 4 sets of 8 chin-ups.

Taper Starts

Tuesday October 11th –  4.8 Miles

Wednesday October 12th –  4.8 Miles

Thursday October 13th – 12 Miles LSD in 2:33:18.

Friday October 14th – Date night with my Wife!

I am enjoying my taper. I feel every bit as good as I did before my British Centurion Qualifier. I count this as a good omen a week before my African Centurion race.  I am looking forward to everything about my trip next week except the 28 hour flight.


Training October 1st – 7th

This week 55.2 Miles

Saturday October 1st – 4.8 Miles, 5 sets of 71 push-ups. 21 minutes of Planks.

Sunday October 2nd – 24 Miles LSD in 5:07:48. 3 sets of 30 squats.

Monday October 3rd – 4.8 Miles, 4 sets of 8 chin-ups. 3 rounds boxing the heavy bag.

Tuesday October 4th –  4.8 Miles, 5 sets of 71 push-ups. 21 minutes of Planks.

Wednesday October 5th – 12 Miles LSD in 2:36:38. 3 sets of 30 squats

Thursday October 6th – 4.8 Miles, 4 sets of 8 chin-ups. 3 rounds boxing the heavy bag.

Friday October 7th – Date night with my Wife!

What a great week of workouts. Felt good to add my strength training back in. A slow decrease in mileage then my Taper. I am officially ready for Africa.