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Many studies have shown that it is possible to recognize people by the way they walk. However, there are a number of covariate factors that affect recognition performance. The time between capturing the gallery and the probe has been reported to affect recognition the most. To date, no study has isolated the effect of time, irrespective of other covariates. Here, we present the first principled study that examines the effect of elapsed time on gait recognition. Using empirical evidence we show for the first time that elapsed time does not affect recognition significantly in the short-medium term. This finding challenges the existing view in the literature that time significantly affects gait recognition. We employ existing gait representations on a novel dataset captured specifically for this study. By controlling the clothing worn by the subjects and the environment, a Correct Classification Rate (CCR) of 95% has been achieved over the longest time period yet considered for gait on the largest ever temporal dataset. Our results show that gait can be used as a reliable biometric over time and at a distance if we were able to control all other factors such as clothing, footwear etc. We have also investigated the effect of different type of clothes, variations in speed and footwear on the recognition performance. The purpose of these experiments is to provide an indication of why previous studies (employing the same techniques as this study) have achieved significantly lower recognition performance over time. Our experimental results show that clothing and other covariates have been confused with elapsed time previously in the literature. We have demonstrated that clothing drastically affects the recognition performance regardless of elapsed time and significantly more than any of the other covariates that we have considered here.