I crawled out of bed at 4:30am and took a look down the deserted street. A habit on Gatliff day. There was a faint hallo of mist around the street lamp. I went down stairs, opened the front door and sniffed the air. Mild too. Looks like the recent weather forecasts were right. We were in for a dry, mild day with the low cloud and mist rising during the day and that is how it turned out. We even managed a bit of sun at the tail of the day. Those who were still out as the sun went down, witnessed a beautiful sun set.
Looking back at last year’s report I claim to have made it round the course with almost dry feet. No chance this year as there was plenty of boggy fields and muddy sections to negociate.
All routes headed north. For the 35km & 50km routes that could only mean the North Downs & Woldingham for lunch! All three routes came together at the final check point for the journey south back to Edenbridge. Except the 20km route had small alternative route that skirted the deep bog just after the checkpoint. Someone knew something!
This year was a special year for two of our regulars, David Wakeling and Jeff Campbell as they completed their 30th completion of the 50km course within 10 hours having only missed one of the 31 Gatliffs. They both received a special certificate listing all their times.
In addition, David Wakeling returned to the finish with the fastest time for the 20th year. A staggering feat of consistently good results (see Hall of Fame later)!
There are now 44 people that have achieved 10 or more 50km Gatliffs, 10 of which have done over 20.
There were 5 Personal Best times around the 50km course; 3 men and 2 women, indicating it wasn’t the easiest year. Looking at the Gatistics, this was a fairly typical Gatliff route and conditions. It was ranked 19th* or the 16th ** hardest in the last 31 years (depending on the indicator used, see the Gatistics later which also gives rankings for the other routes).
Congratulations to the front runners of each event;
20km Megan Lennox 2:15 & Richard Bushell 2:26 35km Jannie May 5:22 & Joao Branquinho 4:06 50km Lisa-Joanne Walbridge 6:38 & David Wakeling 5:42
It was another healthy year for entries with 319 entries split over the three routes. 165 opted for the long route, 71 for the middle route and 83 for the short route.
We are always sad for those that aren’t able to start on the day due to injury or illness or other pressures but this year our heart went out to Robert Young aka Marathon Man Uk who was attempting to run a marathon every day for over a year. He was sadly injured after 6670 miles, 241 marathons including 26 ultras over 227 consecutive days just 3 days before the Gatliff. However Robert is ahead of schedule by 14 days so it is hoped he will be able to recover and continue his incredible challenge. He has an amazing personal story that explains why he is so committed to this challenge and the money it will raise for children’s charities. See www.marathonmanuk.com for his story. Best of luck Rob we hope you make a speedy recovery!