Scholz’ walk to glory

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport -

NED Kelly Chase event gover­nors Sharon and Justin Scholz com­pleted a gru­elling 100 mile walk last week­end to achieve the max­i­mum num­ber of avail­able in­ter­na­tional centurion ti­tles.

“There’s six coun­tries in the world that have an of­fi­cial ‘centurion’,” Justin said.

“To achieve that feat, the en­trant must walk 100 miles or 160.9 kilo­me­tres in 24 hours or less.

“By achiev­ing this in Cape Town, South Africa last week­end we have now achieved centurion sta­tus in all the world events.”

Sharon said the cou­ple felt for­tu­nate to have been able to com­plete the African centurion this year as it had al­ways pre­vi­ously clashed di­rectly with the Ned Kelly Chase, which will be held this Sun­day.

Justin was the first of the pair to walk 100 miles and achieved this feat at the Ade­laide 24 hour event on a 2.2 kilo­me­tre loop in 2012.

The pair then com­pleted the of­fi­cial Aus­tralian centurion event at Mid­dle Park in Mel­bourne in 2013 and have gone on to achieve the other world ti­tles since.

“The United States centurion in Min­neapo­lis, Min­nesota was sec­ond,” said Justin.

“We added this event to our cy­cling trip that year and re­ally en­joyed it. It gave us a taste for th­ese events as we’d pre­vi­ously only been run­ners but were en­joy­ing com­plet­ing th­ese walks to­gether.”

New Zealand also fol­lowed later in 2015, while the Con­ti­nen­tal centurion, held in the Nether­lands was com­pleted in 2016.

“Last year (2017) we added the United King­dom event to our over­seas trip and when we got the job done there we just hoped that one day we would have the chance to at­tend the African event as well,” Sharon said.

“Ev­ery year since the African event started Justin has been po­litely send­ing emails be­fore and af­ter their event just re­mind­ing them that they clash with the Ned Kelly Chase and if they ever change their date, then we’d be there.”

The event was not with­out some drama, how­ever, with a last minute change of venue due to strong winds in Cape Town dur­ing the lead-in week.

“The event was to be held on Robben Is­land where Nel­son Man­dela was in­car­cer­ated for many years,” Justin said.

“Mak­ing this ex­tra spe­cial is that 2018 is the 100th year of Man­dela’s birth. But due to strong winds of 40 km/h and more with gusts of 50km/h and more, the ferry com­pany can­celled all fer­ries to the is­land.

“Or­gan­is­ers made a quick change to an athletics track venue north east of Cape Town and we were im­pressed with their abil­ity to do this on short no­tice.” “I’m sure I speak for the other 200 or more peo­ple in­volved in the event when pass­ing grat­i­tude to the or­gan­is­ers for pulling to­gether an al­ter­na­tive venue so quickly,” Sharon said.

Justin and Sharon now join an il­lus­tri­ous list of just five other peo­ple who have com­pleted six or more in­ter­na­tional centurion events.

The Scholz pair com­pleted the South African event in 22 hours and 47 min­utes.

The race was won by Isle of Man en­trant Andy Green in a time of 20 hours and 57 min­utes while Dutch ath­lete Janti­nus Meints was sec­ond with Justin in third.

Sharon won the ladies solo di­vi­sion, fol­lowed home by lo­cal ath­lete Non­tuthko Mgabhi in 23 hours 29 min­utes with Isle of Man’s Bernie John­son third.

CENTURIONS: Justin (left) and Sharon Scholz com­pete in South Africa.

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