Hour 7 Running Introduction Image

100 mile Trail Race - 1st Place Case Study

Race name:

Centurion South Downs Way 100


Bethan Male

Race description:

A 100 mile race from Winchester to Eastbourne (Hampden Park) following the South Downs Way.

Temperature was in the low 20’s (degrees Celsius).


100 miles


16:49:57, 1st Female and a new course record (which had stood for 9 years)


Around 3800m

Training volume in build-up:

A gradual build up from the beginning of the year (the race was in June) with a lot of cross training on the bike to reduce injury risk. My longest runs were my win at the South Downs Way 50 mile, a 70km ish run to recce the start of the course, which I didn’t know (distance being dictated by the train station) and a couple of bigger back-to-back weekends.

Training intensity, distribution:

At the beginning of the year, training consisted of more intensity with a couple of interval sessions per week. I kept my weekly track session in until quite near the end of the training when I found it wasn’t helpful anymore and focused on having more energy for the longer runs - and to still get me through the working day. It was also my first 100 mile (after a failed attempt the year before) and if I were to do another more “runnable” 100 mile I would probably change things a bit here.

Key sessions:

SDW 50 mile, and the long recce day - practising race nutrition and running with a heavier bag as I didn’t have crew.

Race strategy:

Ignore my watch, start feeling comfortable ignoring the large group of men going off too fast, and keep it comfortable for as long as I can.

Race nutrition:

This is something I have been working on a lot since this race... Keep eating (a mix of gels, chews, energy drink, bars, pastry and hot cross buns).

Race hydration:

Again something I have been working on since this race... keep drinking to thirst and fill up at the aid stations even if I don’t think I need to. I also took salt tablets.

Race shoes:

Hoka tecton

Key items of kit:

I used poles nearer the end when running became more difficult (one to note for anyone doing the Centurion 100 races - there is nothing wrong with doing so and it can be really helpful when those little hills become big mountains due to fatigue).

Key lesson:

Positive = trust your own pacing and start conservatively, that way you will be the one catching up people, not the other way around.

Negative = As my pacer for the last 30 miles will tell you, by that point my nutrition was not optimal and the last marathon was fuelled on coca cola and watermelon alone, absolutely not enough!

(Hour 7 athlete Bethan Male with some of her Hour 7 teammates. Photo: Geoff Lowe)


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