Dave Boxall RIP – Centurion Extraordinaire

Whilst I was in the middle of putting together the tribute to Ray Middleton news came through that the redoubtable Dave Boxall [Brighton and Hove AC] had died. At that moment I hurriedly inserted an acknowledgement of this sad loss into the piece on Ray. In retrospect, it now feels more appropriate to devote a separate post to Dave’s achievements.

Richard and Sandra Brown have unearthed the following insight into Dave’s exploits. Much appreciated.

Dave Boxall C464 RIP

Dave Boxall was one of our great Centurions. He completed 12 UK Centurion events over more than 30 years 1971 – 2005, winning 6 of these.

He qualified as C464 at Ewhurst 1971 in 18h 26min.33sec [4th in race]

He won 6 times in 1972, 1973,1974,1975, 1979 and 1980.

His best time was 1979 Ewhurst, 17h 24min 00 – and this we think is the 10th best men’s time for UK Centurion completions

His completions were all sub 20 hours except the last, Kings Lynn 2005 in 22h11min 10sec. We think he was 72 years of age when he achieved this completion.


In the 1970s, Dave competed in France in a number of qualifying races for the Paris-Strasbourg ultra-distance classic. He won the following and may have completed others:

1973 Rouen 200kms, 22h 12min

1974, Rouen 24 hrs, 206kms

1976, Conflans 200kms, 23h 09min

1977, Chateau-Thierry, 200kms, 23h 26min

1978, Conflans, 200kms, 22h 04min (this may be the 2nd fastest 200kms recorded by a UK walker).

He never seems to have entered the Paris-Strasbourg (despite clearly qualifying), leaving that to his compatriots Colin Young and John (Paddy) Dowling. He subsequently said he never had the funds to put together a team to compete.

In later life, he gave generously to the Centurions before succumbing to ill health.

Alan Buchanan muses.

A sad ending for a popular runner and Walker we have known for 60 years and was with me in Hove when the first flakes of snow fell on Boxing Day 1962 preceding that terrible winter.  RIP Dave 

Dave Ainsworth comments.

When I qualified as a Centurion it was in 1974 (Leicester-to-Skegness) – Dave Boxall was the race winner.  Dave won 4 consecutive 100 Miles races in the ’70s and when he won such events, it was always in the 17 hours’ time bracket.  Nowadays they’re won in 19 hours or something – even 20 hours on occasions.  Dave was a true all-time great.

Mike Parker [New Zealand] adds.

Really sad to receive the news about the death of an old club mate Dave Boxall. Occasionally Dave & I would pass each other at some un-Godly hour on a Sunday morning along the Coast Road between Brighton & Peacehaven. Dave heading towards Brighton me going the other direction, occasionally we might walk a couple of K’s together, usually it was just a high. He was a character that’s for sure, I thought I used to pack the miles in, but it was nothing compared to what Dave would do in his preparation for those ultra-long races. Sometimes he would walk all through the night, I suppose training himself for sleep deprivation. Every year at Xmas time Dave would walk from Peacehaven to Portsmouth where his mother-in-law lived. Dave’s wife was the sensible one she drove there. I used to think he was crazy, but really, he was just a great character. R.I.P Dave

Gerrit de Jong [C456] has supplied the additional information below, for which we are extremely grateful

Dave Boxall’s Hundreds

All-Time List 100 miles

Kathy Crilley C933 has come up with this further much-appreciated information about Dave’s career.

Strasbourg-Paris/Paris-Strasbourg races:

Dave competed in the 1972 race and covered 302km and was placed 16th. There were 20 walkers in the race and 10 covered over 420km in this 513km race.

1973: Dave covered 213km and was 16th. 27 participants – 10 completed over 444km or more. Race distance 494km.

1976: Dave covered 212km and placed 20th. 26 participants – 10 covered over 470km in this 533km race

1977: Dave covered 114km placing 27th out of 28 walkers. 13 classified with over 400km

1981: Dave covered 216km placing 25th out of 34 walkers. 14 walkers covered more than 400km (race distance 513.5km)

It takes courage to enter these races and the fact that Dave never completed them doesn’t take away his achievements!

Other anecdotes welcomed in Comments here or to tonymtaylor@gmail.com

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1 Response to Dave Boxall RIP – Centurion Extraordinaire

  1. martin Payne says:

    Tony, Many thanks for that. What a tremendous athlete that I’m sure very few folk will be aware of – makes me feel pretty insignificant in that regard ! Best wishes Martin

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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