Centurion Running 100 Mile Grand Slam – 2019 Review

100 Mile Grand Slam Buckles
Written by kjhughes

The Centurion Running 100 Mile Grand Slam is complete so I wanted to post a few thoughts about the process and reflect on the year, personally.

The Centurion Running 100 Mile Grand Slam is made up of their four 100 miles races, which must all be completed in the same year.

In 2018 I completed the Centurion Running 50 mile Grand Slam. During that year I always had the 100 Mile Grand Slam in mind for 2019. I entered all the race in the first few hours of them becoming available (the Centurion races sell out quickly).

Thames Path 100

I switched my training around to focus on less days running but more longer runs. This served me well in the first race of the year where I beat my Thames Path 100 PB by around 3 hours, and set myself a new 100 mile PB (23:16:05).
You can read more about it here…

Thames Path 100 - Finish

South Downs Way 100

The gap to the next race, the South Downs Way 100 was only 5 weeks and I didn’t get much running in. I also had a big work travel thing come up a couple of weeks before the race that saw me heading back from the US West coast three days before the race. The South Downs Way 100 was a tough race for me, but I managed a finish in 26:28:25
You can read more about it here…

South Downs Way 100 - Finish

North Downs Way 100

This time I had a gap of about 8 weeks, but it didn’t help. I had no motivation to get out. Actually I was pretty sick of running at this stage. I did run, and enjoy, the Wendover Woods Night 50K race about 3 weeks before this race though. An added complication / pressure was that I had messed up the logistics by booking the family holiday over the race weekend. This meant I had to fly back from Greece on the Friday, sort out cars and hotel, run the race, sort out more hotel and car and eventually head back to the family on the Monday. A whole load of pressure on myself that didn’t help.
This was probably the toughest of the 4 races in my opinion. I finished in 28:53:28.
You can read more about it here…

100 Mile Grand Slam - North Downs Way 100 - Finish

Autumn 100

There was another longer, 10 week, gap before the Autumn 100. Again I had zero motivation. I just focused on trying to stay injury free and to run when I could force myself. Running this race was difficult just because I had lost the hunger that I had in abundance at the start of the year. I really struggled in this race and only just made the cut-off by 15 minutes, finishing in 27:44:10
You can read more about it here…

Autumn 100 - Finish


I am / was elated to finish the 100 Mile Grand Slam. Currently (2019) there are only 176 finishers. I think that as I’ve run more races and gotten more experience I now know what it takes to finish. Mostly it is mental. The mental capacity to just resign yourself to just getting on with it and that stopping is not an option. Also the mental capacity and experience to avoid the little things that can end a race for you. On the Thames Path and Autumn 100 races I was very cold, bordering on hypothermia. This had ended the Thames Path for me in 2016, but this year experienced told me I needed a warmer top, or that I had to start swinging my arms in an exaggerated fashion.

This years, and my performance in the 50 Mile Grand Slam last year, has also taught me is that I’m not made for multi event series. Both years my performance has deteriorated in each race. I think this is down to lacking motivation after a race. A better option for me is likely to focus on a race, then recover well and get motivated again, before looking towards the next race.

I ‘Grand Slammed’, I should be over the moon with my year of running, but that is not the case. Although I’m please with my running until May, since then I’ve not run a great deal, had to force myself out the door and generally not enjoyed it.

Looking Forward

Several people have asked what’s next (or asked if “that’s it”). I don’t really know. There is a Double Slam which is all four 50 mile races and all four 100 mile races in one year. I don’t think that’s for me, but you never know.

Next year I have the Thames Path again. I have a chequered history with this race. It is also the race I ‘cut my teeth’ on. Run it 5 times, 3 DNFs, a 26:11 finish and a 23:16 finish. I need to at least even the score.

There are a couple of other races that are on my ‘bucket list’. Those are the West Highland Way race (as I grew up around there) and the classic Western States Endurance Race. I guess we’ll see what happens…

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