The build up to this year’s Gatliff was dominated by the extreme wet weather causing widespread flooding across the country, particularly in the South West and Wales. We had several concerned phone calls asking whether the Gatliff was still going ahead.
Locally we had a large amount of rain in the proceeding week and we started to consider contingency plans if the low lying land towards the finish flooded.
The wind picked up Saturday night and we began to worry about fallen trees rather than flooding! However, Sunday dawned dry and mild but still with a brisk wind making it feel a little chilly. The atmosphere may have been dry but the ground was decidedly soggy! The first half of the day the sun shone for long periods and it was quite pleasant. The afternoon saw some squally and increasingly heavy showers. Not so pleasant!
Re-reading last year’s report we thought we might be in danger of loosing our reputation for excellent mud. After struggling round this year’s route I think our reputation is restored!
After getting caught out last year with an additional 120+ people entering on the day we had two computers at the start; one for new entries and one for pre-entries. This seemed to work a lot better although we were also helped by more people preentering this time. Thank you, it really helps not only with the start but catering, printing …etc.!
Overall we were 4 entries short of our record year (last year) with 325 entries split over the three routes. 153 opted for the long route, 91 for the middle route and 81 for the short route.
I use these descriptions as I’m aware that, at least for the long route, it was reported by a number of people that possibly the route was longer than specified! May be we ought to advertise as “Country miles” in future! This and the slippery conditions made it quite a tough year.
Last year the 50km results were littered with Personal Bests this year only one person achieved a PB. Well done Mark Johnson of Haywards Heath Harriers!
Looking at the Gatistics, this year’s 50km route was the 7th* or the 10th** hardest in the last 29 years (depending on the indicator used).
The 20km and 35km Gatistics also indicated a tough year. For the 35km it was the 2nd hardest since 1999.
Congratulations to the front runners of each event;
20km Jo MacKenzie 2:57 & Alex Devlin 2:57
35km Emily Miles 5:37 & Noel Miles 5:37
50km Lisa-Joanne Walbridge 7:16 & Keith Macintosh 6:02
Anastasia (the Husky) and her accomplice, Walter Spenst, completed the 50km in 9:05. Not sure who was setting the pace! Lifting a muddy dog over many of the styles must have been an added challenge!
Two COPSE members clocked up their 20th completion of the 50km route in 10 hours or under to join the 1000km+ club: Richard Spear and yours truly having covered the 1000km in a total of 137 hrs & 16 mins and 138 hours & 4 mins respectively.
There are now 12 people that have achieved 20 or more completions to date.
Nobody joined the 500km+ club this year although Wendy Spear and Neil Fennel clocked up their 9th so are well positioned for next year.
Nobody has completed all of the 29 events within the ten hours but three remain one short of the complete set;
David Wakeling, Jeff Campbell and Martyn Greaves
Tim Styles, Gatliff Entries Secretary