Results and Report

The event results and report are published here



Download sortable Excel spreadsheet here:

Download .pdf spreadsheet here:

View results on LDWA website:
click here

Historic statistics (to 2004)
Click here



Gordon Parker, the event organiser, has written a report of the occasion which is reproduced below.


Report of the 20th Founders Challenge Saturday 8th October 2016

***Note – date for your diaries***

The 21st LDWA London “Founders’” Challenge will be on Saturday, 14 October 2017

Founders 2016 Report 

The LDWA London Group held the 20th edition of the Founders Challenge on Saturday 8th October. This was the second year in succession that it has been held on a Saturday: the public transport is better than on a Sunday so Peaslake is a little more accessible. Holding the event on the second weekend in October rather than the third also seems popular. 

The 16 mile route was the same as in 2015 with only minor changes in the first section to St Martha’s Hill and Checkpoint 1 at Guildford Lane. The longer route, in addition to the early changes, reverted to the route last used in 2011 which on the way to Checkpoint 2 at Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel leaves the North Downs Way and passes Dunley Hill Farm. A late diversion was put in place here because of reports of aggressive cows and their calves in a field; in 2017 we will negotiate with the farmer to ensure the path across the fields is safe.

The event was first held in 1997, when it was called the Founders Jubilee Challenge. Tony Youngs devised a 26 mile route as a commemoration of the founding of the LDWA and the role of Alan Blatchford and Chris Steer in this. The route links various places connected to the origins of the LDWA in 1972: Blatchford Down, Steers Field, Tanners Hatch youth hostel, Pitch Hill and the old Peaslake Post Office, where the notice leading to the founding of the LDWA was placed. Tony was an excellent artist and his line drawings decorate the Founders' Challenge certificate. 

The routes provide a mixture of woodland, open downland and some fabulous views in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. On a fine morning there were 137 starters (2015: 130). Electronic registration and tracking using the PACER system mean participants can set off when they are ready, rather than having a mass start. Although the start for walkers was advertised as between 8.30 and 9, on request the first walkers left at 8.10: the only real constraint is the checkpoint opening times. Runners started at 10 a.m.

Summary of Entries (2015 in brackets): 



Withdrew / DNS




16 mile Walk



34 [41]


33 [38]

27 mile Walk



62 [55]


62 [53]

27 mile Run



41 [34]


37 [33]


183 [152]


137 [130]


132 [124]


The fastest 27 mile walker finished in 6h18m, the fastest two runners in 4h22m; the quickest three people on the 16 mile route took 4h36m. Everyone was back at Peaslake before 7 p.m. Because of the adjustments to the route checkpoint opening times and the finish cut-off were extended by 30 minutes (and interpreted generously!)

The number of starters was slightly up on the day compared with last year. The big change was the number of withdrawals (10) and No Shows (36). Let’s hope that in 2017 as many people enter and more start. 17 people entered On The Day compared with 18 in 2015.

Feedback from participants has been universally positive: there were only two minor comments on the route description and no reports of long-route participants taking short-cuts at St Martha’s Hill! The food, marshals and the countryside were all praised.

For a second year electronic registration and tracking was used and this will be retained, although the traditional paper system is an important back-up. We were honoured to have the Founders Challenge used as a test of PACER (Participant Activity Control for Events and Results) which will certainly become an asset on the annual 100s and other challenge events. It allowed rapid registration; participants could leave when ready with their departure, checkpoint arrival and finishing times recorded accurately. CP1 was online so people were tracked from Peaslake in real time; at CPs 2 and 3 barcodes were scanned into a laptop from which a spreadsheet was downloaded immediately on return to Peaslake. Results were on the website by 7.30 p.m.!

Adam Dawson put in many hours to prepare and run the system. He was assisted in the lead-up and on the day by Tony Cartwright and Mary Dumble [Surrey Group], and on the day by Nic Carbonara at CP1, Michael Headley [Kent] and Helen Abbott [Thames Valley] at Peaslake, and several marshals led by Paul Lawrence at CP2. It was a resounding success and useful to the whole, national organisation. Aase Christensen managed Entries On The Day, and dispensed certificates and the complimentary commemorative water bottles.

Our sincere thanks go to the Friends of the Hurtwood, the Albury and the Wotton Estates and Surrey Wildlife Trust for use of their car parks and paths; to Tanners Hatch YHA for hosting a checkpoint and the National Trust for allowing access to it for our cars; and to the Hurtwood Inn for providing the essential emergency phone number. Donations, as a token of our appreciation, will be made to the Surrey Wildlife Trust, the Friends of the Hurtwood, Abinger PCC (at the request of the Wotton Estate) and Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel. An additional £1 was charged for each entry to support the Peaslake Village Hall renovation appeal: £200 has been donated for work which includes a new kitchen.

Mike Tuke, Helen Franklin and Steve Garnsey gave lifts to 8 other participants from Guildford and Dorking stations; lifts for 3 marshals were also arranged.

Sincere thanks go to the 31 marshals who ensured the day went smoothly: we could probably manage with fewer but it wouldn’t be such an enjoyable, sociable event. The following comments make the point:

  • Stunning route, amazing organisation, best food of any event I do, exciting weather, great team work.
  • Great route, happy marshals, top chefs & grub.
  • Lovely course, great friendly and helpful volunteers at cp1 and lots of nice snacks. ... Really nice meal at the end and very friendly and helpful volunteers in the hall and the kitchen. Fantastic day.
  • We would like to thank you for organising this event. We really appreciate letting us start earlier than the promoted start time, this has helped us to do the full walk in daylight, plus the additional walk to the Gomshall bus station.  The checkpoints were very well organised, and special thanks for having fruits as well on the table. Great job!

Chris Ketteringham and Catherine Fox again masterminded the catering: Marmite trumped jam to everyone’s satisfaction! They were assisted by Susan Cannell, Gillian Godwin, Corinne Thompson, Colin Saunders, Andy and Deborah Shoesmith and Lynne McKenzie, plus several others who wielded knives and chopping boards for some of the day.

Car parking was managed by Hazel Stokes, Don Newman, Gail and John Elrick, Nigel Barraclough, Dave Williams and Gordon Parker.

CP1 was run by Hazel Stokes, Gail and John Elrick, Lynne McKenzie, Rod Smith and Laurence Foe with Nic Carbonara on laptop.

At CP2 were Paul Lawrence, Peter Russell, Joelle Gérin, Dorothy Shepherd, Dave Williams, Ken Fancett and Linda Pan.

At CP3 we had Nigel Barraclough, Tara Williams, Fabrice Leistner, Hazel Stokes, Don Newman and Mary Dumble (on laptop); Tara and Fabrice swept back to the finish.

Everyone made my job easier: thank you


Gordon Parker
October 2016

Thanks also to Peter Aylmer, Nigel Barraclough & Hazel Stokes for the photos



Find out more

Just click the the appropriate links below to find out about:


  1. Background to the Founders' challenge
  2. Details of the 2016 course routes with downloadable GPX files and overview maps and how to get to the start
  3. Entry fees, in advance, on-the-day, for members and non-members; and what you get in return
  4. How to sign up, and a link to the "SI Entries" system
  5. How to volunteer to help
  6. Contacting us for more information
  7. Go back to the Founders' overview page