The day has come and gone, and what a day it was. Classically Tanners blue sky, fluffy white clouds and sunshine. Over 500 participants of all ages, including many seasoned Tanners Marathon participants including David Young completing his 47th Tanners at the age of 67 years. There were also two twelve year olds with their mothers who completed the 10 mile event, a first for all four. Most grateful thanks to the organising committee and all those who helped; and thanks to all those who took part and provided such lovely company.

The 2010 Tanners 30mile Marathon, filmed & uploaded by John Pennifold

The Start:

The Race:

The Finish:


For those who think that walking in the Surrey countryside is a doddle and would compare the Lakelands and Isle of Skye to it as "real walking" should think again. Yes it is some of the gentlest and prettiest countryside that you may ever want to see, but to cover thirty miles across Ranmore Common, Leith Hill, Holmbury St. Mary and Pitch Hill within ten hours can count as exceptionally good training if you are contemplating serious walking elsewhere. A normally fit teenager or adult can reasonably expect to complete the Tanners Marathon within the ten hours BUT be prepared for a surprise at the end at just what a challenge that walk through the Surrey countryside can be to your determination and will to complete. For those who run 26.5 mile marathons on the flat this event will be an eye opener: Come run the Tanners 30 miles! The event is a pleasurable low key affair which requires mental attention as well as physical application. Although the route is marked with yellow arrows, it is not lined with marshalls nor are the arrows sufficient to allow for lack of attention. Four pages of directions are provided and it is necessary to read them if you are to successfully find your way. The route is different each year. This was orienteering before the word orienteering was coined. There are checkpoints every five miles or so where participants are recorded and drinks provided. But apart from that, you are on your own. If you see an opportunity to short cut and cheat; you cheat only yourself and nobody else will care.

The Tanners Hatch Marathon started as a walking event run by the Epsom & Ewell YHA group to help keep footpaths in Surrey open for all. Today the event has a ten mile and a 20 mile route to compliment the traditional 30 mile. The thirty miles is still the ten hour backbone of the day with runners starting an hour after the walkers. On some years the entry was high enough to where you could see the field of walkers spread out over miles of path across field, along copse edge and up hill into the distance. Military units and police have used the event as recognised exercise achievements over the years. Trophies have developed for YHA groups, Athletic type Club entries, schools and Scouts. Many younsters have learned that such endeavours are as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Many have taken the lesson of achievement, of succeeding, on into their lives as they have grown up.

The event has truly inspired, taught recognition of strengths and weaknesses, and provided some 47 days of quite special cameraderie amoungst participants and many more for those who have made the event happen over half a century. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters; friends and family, even their dogs; all have been there. It is a tradition that will soon be a legend.