What a cracking day out! I hope you all agree. The conditions were almost perfect, dry and bright with a chill in the air to encourage you not to dally too long. Setting off at day break over the crunchy and frosty ground in the pale, pink light, accompanied by the excited chatter from a large group of Rebel Runners was an atmospheric moment for me.
Then came the dreaded Golf Course with its navigational challenges! Safely through we continued North passing a single Alpaca protecting a herd of sheep. It was to be a hilly route as we were heading for the North Downs and hills beyond around Woldingham.
Woldingham was the lunch stop and was well stocked with beverages, sandwiches, cake, rice pudding and other treats. And heating!
The route took us back up the North Downs and then down into Westerham. Going through the beech trees, their majestic boughs lit up in the winter’s sun, and kicking through the deep carpet of fallen leaves was another memory to take away from this years event.
Crockham Hill was next with some great paths through the Sweet Chestnut woods and again lots of fallen leaves to rustle through. Now on to the home bound section. Legs are starting to stiffen but the finish is now beckoning us on with the thought of a hot shower, a cup of tea and a chat with friends!
We had another good level of entries (342), with the 50km slightly up, 20km about the same, but a bit of a drop in the middle distance.
This table compares how tough this year’s event was in comparison to other years based on two “hardness measures”.
|Route||2017 Average Time||% Finishing||% Finishing under 10 hours||Ranking based on Average time||Ranking based on % Finishers||No of Events|
For the 50km event it was ranked as a fairly typical year. For the 20km and 35km on one measure it was a typical year and other suggested it was one of the tougher years! That’s the beauty of statistics! For more detail on each year since we started see Gatistics in the results.
Congratulations go to the Vinnie, Brandon and Jan completing 10 50km events each in 10 hours or less. They will be receiving a special certificate through the post. There are now 36 members of the exclusive 500km+ club.
David Wakeling continued his almost perfect record by completing his 33rd event. For a run down of the top completers, see later in the report. Unfortunately Jeff Campbell who, up to this year, had been level pegging David, had to drop a year due to an ankle injury which may need surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery and expect to see him back next year. Mind you he still completed the 20km against medical advice!
Congratulations to the front runners of each event.
Particularly impressive is that Finney, who was the fastest female to complete the 20km route, was only 9 years old, finishing with her mum, Alexandra. They were also faster than all the men! Dad, Eric and son Felix (13 years old) also completed the 20km finishing joint 10th. A family to watch for the future!
Lisa-Joanne completed the 50km in the fastest time for the 4th year running (pun intended) and for the 6th year overall.
Keith, who holds the event’s lowest ever 50km time, came in first, as he has every time he has entered!
20km Finnney Coomber 2:27 & Lawrence Manning 2:32
35km Hannah Green 4:45 & Alastair Bloore 4:06
50km Lisa-Joanne Walbridge 6:33 & Keith Macintosh 5:21
We hope you enjoy pondering over the results and various statistics that follow.
Finally, a big thank you to Margaret Philipson and her team of COPSE marshals that give their time and, sometimes, their body heat in service of the Gatliff!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you next year for our 35th event! (If you can, it would help us greatly if you pre-enter.)
(Gatliff Entries Secretary)