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Jonathan Hobbs National Champion again
Article by: Chris Hobbs
Posted: 26th Aug 2022 by Ashford AC News
On the weekend of 20th/21st August, Ashford Athletics Club long distance walker Jonathan Hobbs fulfilled a lifelong ambition by race walking 100 miles in less than 24 hours.
Nearly 20 years since joining Ashford AC and after 8 months targeted training he race walked the 100 miles in an astonishing 18 hours, 44 minutes to win the National Championships in Middlesbrough.
"I actually enjoyed the first 40 miles and at halfway I was less than 5 minutes off my ambitious plan. We were then hit by 2 hours of driving, depressing, dreadful rain which used up most of my energy reserves. After that, it was a long dark night and when dawn finally cracked I was just determined to get to the end. The finish was emotional and I had the chance to thank my Dad (his coach) for his support throughout the race."
His time was the second fastest time by a British walker this century and probably the fastest 100 miles in the world this year. No wonder so many experienced athletes officials and helpers who saw it offered him their warm congratulations. The conditions were truly dreadful and many of the 37 starters from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA and elsewhere failed to finish or to reach 100 miles within the 24 hours cut off.
He finished more than an hour ahead of the second race walker and three hours ahead on the next English competitor and won a magnificent sword, the winner's trophy sponsored by Wilkinsons.
During the race Jonathan kept his energy up with sports drinks and gels plus a bowl of sausages and beans, a bowl of tuna and mashed potato, some soup and a big helping of will power and determination.
Jonathan before the start and in the race
Many Ashford commuters may have spotted this University of Kent mathematics student race walking around the parks and roads of Ashford and local villages before breakfast and wondered what he was doing. Now they know!