Alan Blatchford

This tribute to Alan was printed in the 1980 edition of RAA! Chris who wrote it served on the TMA from its origin until 1982. Alan died suddenly on 16th September, aged 44, at his home in Guildford. Those of you who have walked the "Tanners" over the years will remember Alan and those of you who never met him will have heard of him because he was involved in the event right from the beginning way back in 1960, and was secretary of the association and main organiser until this, the twenty first year. There is no doubt that without his hard work and dedication it would not be the success that it is today. He planned all the routes and ingeniously made every one different from any other, always on footpaths, bridleways and lanes. (The 1981 route, already pencilled in on the map will be his too). Later he was responsible for the inaugeration and running of the Punchbowl Marathon which in the early days was based at Farncombe, and from this and his many other activities came the Long Distance Walkers Association of which he was Honorary Secretary from its inception in 1972, and under his guiding hand the "Downsman' and "Dartmoor" Hundreds evolved; then the Guildford Bounday on which, with Barbara, he wrote a detailed guidebook. He was throughout his life a very keen competitor and ran and walked many endurance events in Britain. Through his running activities he organised his first running Marathon the "Masters and Maidens" and, in defiance of the establishment made it open to men and women, boys and girls alike. He encouraged many people to follow him in his pursuits and to further this aim the MABAC fun run league was set up. He helped Athletic Clubs with road races, refereed football matches for scouts and compiled and produced the "Long Distance Walkers Handbook". He made it possible for everyone to participate, to meet their own challenge.

Chris Steer