It was foggy driving down over the North Downs to the start. It looked like it was going to be a murky day. I was expecting a couple of brief showers but the rain was heavy and persistent in the early part of the Marathon and some light showers returned in the late afternoon. At least it wasn’t wet all day! None the less, it was muddy underfoot! We had the best ever year for entries (390) and starters (322)!

We introduced the online entry system for the first time which proved popular and possibly was a reason for higher numbers?

I guess if the trend continues we may need to start thinking about limiting numbers.

The 50km route headed for Toys Hill (235m), then east to Sevenoaks Weald, south to Chiddingstone and Cowden, west to Dry Hill (which it never is!) and then finally back to Edenbridge. The 35km route did a similar route but skipping the Sevenoaks Weald & Cowden checkpoints and the 20km route did a loop to Dry Hill and back.

Chiddingstone was the lunch stop and was well stocked with beverages, sandwiches, cake, rice pudding and other treats.

The table below compares how tough this year’s event was in comparison to other years based on two “hardness measures”. For all three routes it was easier than average year on one measure (Av. Time) but on the other measure it was tougher than average. That’s the beauty of statistics! I guess it means it was fairly typical. For more detail on each year since we started see the Gatistics later in the report.

Hardest Ranking
(1 = hardest)
Route 2018 Average Time
(in 10 hours or less for 50km)
% Finishing % Finishing
(in 10 hours or less)
Based on average time Based on % finishing No. of Events
50km 08:09 88% 66% 24 10 35
35km 07:17 90% 16 8 20
20km 04:26 98% 17 9 26

David Wakeling continued his almost perfect record by completing his 34th event. For a rundown of the top completers, see results later in the report.

Congratulations go to the Tara, Peter and Brian for completing 10 50km events each in 10 hours or less. They will be receiving a special certificate through the post. There are now 39 members of the exclusive 500km+ club.

Tara Williams Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total
Time 9:01 09:28 08:33 06:54 08:46 07:23 07:37 06:54 07:49 07:13 79:38
Peter Hamson Year 1999 2000 2008 2009 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 Total
Time 6:35 6:43 08:04 07:09 08:14 08:00 07:30 08:04 08:32 09:42 78:33
Brian Layton Year 2008 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total
Time 09:49 07:00 07:15 09:22 08:14 08:07 07:42 07:28 08:28 09:00 82:25

Congratulations to the front runners of each event.

Lisa-Joanne completed the 50km route in the fastest time to continue her domination of the last 5 years. She has now complete 7 50km Marathons in the fastest time. (See “Hall of Fame”)

Nicolas completed his first Gatliff, equalled last year’s fastest 50km time and pipped last year’s winner, Keith MacIntosh, by just 2mins. Looks interesting for next year?

20km: Jo Quantrill 2:58; Dan Burke & Aidan Roberson 2:07
35km: Mel Frazier 4:56;  Kevin James & Stephen Alden 4:55
50km: Lisa-Joanne Walbridge 6:20; Nicolas Woodman 5:21

We hope you enjoy pondering over the results and various statistics that follow.

Cautionary Note:
This year we did have an incident with a horse escaping from a field due to a gate being left open. The Country Code asks for gates to be left as they are found, however if you leave a gate unlatched for a following walker or runner please make sure the following person knows to secure the gate. If in doubt close and latch the gate.

The same land owner was also concerned about dogs enroute scaring the horses so please be mindful of other animals along the route by keeping your dog on a lead and under control.

It’s difficult to know exactly what happened or even if it involved Gatliff entrants but we do need to keep the landowners, whose land we cross, onside for the sake of future events so please bear in mind next year. Thanks.

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! Also thanks to Dick Ockenden for devising and writing the route description for all distances.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you next year for our 36th event!
(If you can, it would help us greatly if you pre-enter.)

Tim Styles

Hall of Fame

YearFastest ManTimeFastest WomanTime
1984Martyn Greaves6:02Pauline Shore6:50
1985Martyn Greaves5:15Sue Boyman8:25
1986Martyn Greaves
Nigel Robinson
5:21Debbie Cooper8:29
1987Martyn Greaves4:59Wendy Spear7:11
1988Keith Rolfe
Steve Fawcett
5:29Debbie Cooper8:30
1989Dave Wakeling
Barrie Prince
4:57Wendy Spear6:44
1990Dave Wakeling4:47Debbie Cooper5:40
1991Dave Wakeling
Chris Boakes
Peter Tremain
4:35Janet Crockford6:41
1992Dave Wakeling
Chris Boakes
5:03Sandra Brown6:14
1993Dave Wakeling
Chris Boakes
4:55Julie Stoddart
Eileen Buckley
1994Brian Cammell
Graham Tucker
5:36Julie Stoddart7:48
1995Dave Wakeling4:43Clare Mathews5:27
1996Dave Wakeling4:43Sue Ashley6:23
1997Dave Wakeling5:20Shirley Hume6:39
1998Dave Wakeling5:13Shirley Hume7:24
1999Dave Wakeling5:30Shirley Hume6:55
2000Dave Wakeling5:28Lindsay Turner7:39
2001Dave Wakeling5:54Shirley Hume7:29
2002Dave Wakeling5:34Alexandra Langridge7:04
2003Dave Wakeling5:19Jackie Smith7:02
2004Dave Wakeling5:23Summer Govan6:26
2005Dave Wakeling5:19Sue Ashley6:41
2006Dave Wakeling5:45Jo Kilkenny8:23
2007Fabrice Leistner4:44Annabelle Stearns6:04
2008Dave Wakeling5:46Zoe Thornton6:20
2009Gary Vallance5:21Lisa Joanne Barry6:02
2010Mark Braley4:54Priscilla Brunnine6:25
2011Dave Wakeling5:16Janet Cobby7:07
2012Keith MacIntosh6:02Lisa-Joanne Walbridge7:16
2013Keith MacIntosh4:32Edwina Sutton6:13
2014David Wakeling5:42Lisa-Joanne Walbridge6:38
2015Keith MacIntosh5:11Lisa-Joanne Walbridge6:28
2016David Wakeling5:25Lisa-Joanne Walbridge5:58
2017Keith Macintosh5:21Lisa-Joanne Walbridge6:33
2018Nicolas Woodman5:21Lisa-Joanne Walbridge6:20
2019James Whibberley5:42Lisa-Joanne Walbridge6:31
2021James Whibberley5:26Tara Williams6:43
2022Peter Mack5:35Megan Lennox7.04
2023Luke Green5:05Carrie Gaston6:35