Sandra Brown (ultradistance athlete)

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Sandra Brown
Personal information
Born (1949-04-01) 1 April 1949 (age 69)
ResidenceDorset, England
Years active1982–2016
Height5 ft (152 cm) 6"
Weight8 st (50 kg)
Event(s)Ultra Distance walking
Ultra distance running
ClubSurrey Race Walking Club
Updated on 9 March 2018.

Sandra Brown (born 1 April 1949) is a British ultra distance walker / runner who holds a number of world records in the field of long distance walking.


After a childhood which included many long family walks 'off the beaten track', Brown completed her first formal marathon in 1982 in Winchester, at age 33 years. That same year saw her enter her first 'ultra' (a race of a distance beyond the marathon's 26 miles 385 yards) with the 100 km Surrey Summits in April and a Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) crosscountry 100 mile event along the Pilgrims' Way from Guildford to Canterbury in May.

Since then, Brown's pursuit of ultra distance excellence has been ongoing and uninterrupted. Brown was the first woman to reach one hundred 'hundreds' (a formal event of 100 miles or more). Averaging 8 "hundreds" per year and sometimes achieving over 10 per year, her tally has continued to rise until it stands at its current value of 194.[1]

Brown also competed in the 2011 Parish Walk on the Isle of Man, but was controversially disqualified after it emerged she had been caught running due to her Nike Airmax trainers.

Brown holds the record for the most number of finishes (100 miles in less than 24 hours) in the annual English Centurions 24 Hour race - 32 "hundreds" walked between 1982 and 2018.[1]

Brown has excelled in both ultradistance running and walking modes and has shown a great interest in the extremely long ultra distance events.

In 1989, Brown completed the first of four Paris-Colmar walks, a distance of 221 km between the two French cities.

In 1995 Brown walked from Land's End to John o' Groats (the walk from one end of Great Britain to the other), a distance of 830 miles. Her time of 13 days 10 hours beat the current running record and was to last for 9 years until, in 2006, it was finally beaten by world famous ultra distance runner Sharon Gaytor who ran the distance in 12 days 16 hours.[2]

In Nanango (Queensland, Australia) in 1996, Brown set Women's World running records for 1000 kilometres (8 days 12 hours 16 mins 20 secs) and 1000 miles (14 days 10 hours 27 mins 20 secs). And as with her Land's End to John O'Groats record, she did it walking nearly the whole way. Even now, over 20 years later, these performances stand as the second and third ranking performances of all time[3] behind the great Eleanor Robinson.

Brown has represented England on a number of occasions in ultra distance championships including the 2007 IAU 24 Hour Championship in Canada and the inaugural Commonwealth 24 Hour Run Championship in 2009 in England.


Brown holds the official World Walking Records (track) for the 100 km, 100 miles, 12 hours and 24 hours.[4]

Distance Performance Place Date
100 km 11:17:42 Etréchy (FR) 27-28/10/1990
100 Miles 19:00:47 Auckland (NZ) 10-11/07/1999
12 Hours 106.180 km Etréchy (FR) 27-28/10/1990
24 Hours 194.758 km Ware (GB) 19-20/07/1997

Centurion Badges[edit]

The aim for many ultradistance walkers is to become a Centurion (racewalking), a membership reserved for those who can walk 100 miles (160.934 kilometres) within 24 hours. Brown is the only person in the world to be awarded all 7 Centurion medals (English, Continental, Australian, New Zealand, American, Malaysian and African).[5]


The Winning Experience: Winning in Sport, in Business, in Life By Richard Brown, 1996, ISBN 9780952743712

Long At The Top: Richard and Sandra Brown 1982–1993 By Dudley Harris, 1994, self published (New Zealand)

Bluestocking in Black Tights By Dudley Harris, 2000, self published (New Zealand)


  1. ^ a b "Sandra Brown Ultras" (PDF). Australian Centurion Walkers. Tim Erickson.
  2. ^ "Sharon's on top of the world". The Northern Echo.
  3. ^ "All time rankings for 1000 km, 1500 km, and 1000 miles". Ultra Marathon Statistics Website. Andy Milroy.
  4. ^ "World records and best performances: women's race walking". Athletics Weekly.
  5. ^ "Most Centurion Badges". United States Centurions Site. Rob Robertson.