Beach Runners do 100

Three North Norfolk Beach Runners, Hazel Wray, Andy Kett and Chris Spooner, were among 300 starters who tackled the Centurion Autumn 100 over the weekend of 15-16th October. This 100-mile race in the Thames Valley was made up of four 25-mile out-and-back spurs centred on Goring-on-Thames; it started at 10am on the Saturday and had to be completed within 28 hours.

Hazel had bad luck, feeling unwell before she started and deciding to pull out after 58 miles, a huge achievement in the circumstances nevertheless. Andy for his part stormed round 16.50.28 to finish sixth overall, but then he does this sort of thing most days before breakfast.

Chris was running to raise money towards an electric wheelchair for her niece, Lily Rose, who has cerebral palsy; the chair will give her more independence when she starts high school.

“I really enjoyed the first 50 miles” says Chris. “I felt good and the scenery was beautiful. The biggest high came at about 38 miles, crossing a field with runners all the way across. Everything felt awesome! “But from 50 miles, it got dark and cold and I got very tired; this section was also hillier than I’d expected. My lowest point was approaching the 75-mile checkpoint; I’d forgotten to drink for about eight miles and I was shivering, walking and had no energy. But my crew and the Centurion support team soon sorted me out with loads of extra layers, chilli and cuppa soup. A cuppa soup has never tasted so good!

“At 6am it started to rain and continued for four hours. The organisers had put a load of steps into the last 25 miles and they seemed to take forever. I finally finished at 12pm on the Sunday.

“But the aid stations were great, like oases in the desert, full of hugely positive people and best of all, hot sweet tea. I struggled to eat ‘proper’ food from quite early on, everything seemed too dry and took a lot of chewing. But Watermelon and pineapple went down very well.

“The whole weekend was an amazing adventure and one that I’ll never forget.”

Neither will Lily Rose. Donations can be made at