Hundred Hills 50K Ultra 2024

A Hundred Hills?

We drop in on the unusually named Hundred Hills 50K trail ultra...

It's called the Hundred Hills 50K but to the relief of 400 competitors on Saturday (16 March) there weren't a hundred hills to climb despite the net gain of 4,000 feet (1,200m) on the fully waymarked course set out by Centurion Running for their season-opening ultra.

Hundred Hills 50K is based at the magnificent Stonor Park and Gardens, between the M4 and M40, near Henley-on-Thames. The route is a beautiful but challenging 50K trail ultra on two roughly equal loops through the heart of the Chiltern Hills countryside, visiting picturesque villages and ancient woodland while traversing some incredible trails. This 60-second video gives a flavour of the event...

The Chiltern Hills are historically linked to Chiltern Hundreds – a 'hundred' being a traditional division of English counties, with the Chiltern Hundreds being among the first to be designated.

A record entry of 500 was received for this second edition of Hundred Hills 50K and the conditions were much drier than the inaugural event which suffered from heavy rainfall the night before and during the race.

With checkpoints at Ibstone, Skirmett, Stonor (halfway), Hambleden, and Bix and a strict nine-hour time limit, there were 385 finishers in 8:53:47. Not surprisingly, last year's winning times of 4:05:26 by Daniel Weller and 4:46:52 by Amy-Jo Clarke were eclipsed in the much-improved conditions this year.

This year's male champion was Mark Darbyshire in 3:57:20 – the sole athlete under four hours. Mark is a member of the Centurion Ultra Team and a serial course record holder at distances from 50K to 100 miles. Mark's nearest opponents were Kallum Pritchard (4:03:07) and Alastair Courtney (4:10:17).

Anna Klucnika, from Austria, is inexperienced at trail ultras but has strong road race credentials including 1:21:20 for the half marathon and 2:53:35 for the full marathon. She relished the firm going to win the women's race in 4:32:57 from Sophie Biggs (4:56:52) and Rachel Lindley (5:00:16).

Details of Centurion Running future events here.

Full results are available via the runABC South race listing here.

Image courtesy of Centurion Running website.

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