Gatliff marathon 30 Nov

A wonderful walk...Rabbit and I sailed into Edenbridge and met up with Don, fine ultra walker and excellent peep from London LDWA. After collecting our check cards we sailed off and managed to nearly get lost in the first half mile - a pb. But we were quickly back on track as the sun rose on a very misty Kent: the sun just peeping through a grey November sky. The first 8k took us though woods and down into Chiddingstone - a lovely village with castle and Tudor pub which will be worth further inspection. Lovely cup of tea the the first check point. We were overtaken by runners but no walkers - at this point we were walking slowly but strongly, and grappling with the walk instructions. Then on to Weald, through a couple of vile muddy field which added a ton to my walking boots. Next 8k took us through sweet chestnut woods and along the beautiful Greensands Way, and on to the lunch stop at Weald, where JJ made contact as we munched sarnies and pork pies.


  • Go meer, go!
  • The next 11k were the hardest and the lovliest: up Ide Hill and along the ridge with fantastic misty views over Kent. We eyed the car park for signs of JJ, but found out later he'd gone along one of the other distance routes. Then up some frightful steps and a very stiff climb up Toy's Hill, with more magnificent views. Finally there was some downhill, and a very tall peep hoved into view. Rabbit and I waved, and Rabbit mentioned that if it wasn't JJ, he would think we were mad. But it was JJ, who guided us safely to checkpoint 5 and partook of tea and a mini pork pie. There was also a Santa and mince pies. Yum! Then on to the final 8k, and the worst route error: directions to take a bearing from a 'isolated planted tree' took us a long way of course, and after we'd been joined by a lovely couple of running peeps, we finally worked out that this meant one particular sapling and found the right sty. By now it was 1545 and getting dark, and the directions pointed to a dreaded golf course. Golf courses on long distance walks are the work of the devil and guaranteed to get you lost, but there were lights up to show us the way. Halfway across, a tall dark figure loomed large, and there was JJ with cans of gin and tonic. The most welcome of sights. We were a mile from the finish, and wonderful JJ knew the way, so we could dispense with the directions. We finally made it back to the rugby club and finished the 23 miles in 8 hours 27 mins.
    - A fantastic walk - one of the best challenges I've done, with beautiful countryside.
    - Don was a brilliant walk companion, and told us a lot about how to deal with 60 and 100 mile walks.
    - Poor Rabbit once again had a bleeding toe at the end, but she is a wonder going up hills, when I tend to get very moany.
    - JJ is a sight for sore feet, and should be a permanant fixture on every LDW. The gin and tonic was very gratefully slurped by all.
    Thanks, Rabbit, for once again being the perfect P in C!!
  • Thanks, Benz!!
  • i wish id known earlier i wasnt on call:((
  • Meer - You making walking up the side of a building sound so easy. Congratulations on another great race! I asked earlier if you had your compass. Congratulations, also, to Rabbit for her walk. You ladies are awesome. I admire your fortitude and enthusiasm for the events. Most excellent report and accomplishment. I'm proud of you. Have a great week! Have fun!
  • Good morning Meer. I forgot to ask, but when's the next event? Hope you aren't too stiff. Have a nice day.
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