The Anglo Celtic Plate 100km race (ACP) was the brain child of John Foden, the same man who had the idea for a little event in Greece called the Spartathlon!
He had established a 100km road event in 1993 utilising the traffic free paths of Holme Pierrepoint Park, where the National Watersport centre had been created just outside Nottingham. His aim was to create a platform whereby every year, the British Isles had an event where promising ultra-runners had the opportunity to represent their own country, while also bringing together some of current best ultra runners to race against other.
In this way standards would be raised, and it would act as a stepping stone for runners seeking to make the Great Britain or Irish republic teams for the annual major IAU world events. It would also give runners an opportunity for “mere mortals” to challenge themselves over the classic 100k distance, without having to travel to Europe where 100km races at the time, and still are, more plentiful.
The event has circulated, by and large, on a four year cycle around the British Isles. Although compared with some of the current growth in numbers in trail events, fields are small, it has over the years provided some outstanding performances from current leading runners.
In recent years there has been in most venues an accompanying 50km event for aspiring ultra runners to take their first steps beyond the marathon, or for experienced ultra-runners to have a well organised race as a stepping stone to an upcoming longer ultra event.
The ACP has certainly achieved its aim of acting as a platform for emerging talent and some of our current leading ultra-runners who have gone on to acquit themselves well in global international competition include England’s Jez Bragg, SteveWay and Lizzy Hawker, Ireland’s Eion Keith and Dan Doherty, Scotland’s Simon Pride, William Sichel, Rob Turner and Emily Gelder and John Pares from Wales have all gained their first taste of international ultra competition in the Anglo Celtic Plate.
Adrian Tarit Stott
Sri Chinmoy AC.
Race co-ordinator of the Anglo Celtic Plate, when held in Scotland.