41st Across Wales Walk
4 September 2004
Weather initially clear but low cloud above 1500ft made navigation very difficult over Plynlimon. However the rain held off all day.
This page provides reports and timing information for the 41st Across Wales Walk.
Before the event: preparatory work on the route
Creation of a small reservoir and embankment obstructed the route between Bwlch Gate and Checkpoint 1...
...addressed by Powys County Council who put in new steps one week before the event ....
........and also a new stile, being tried out by Judith Lamb.
Weekend before the event: brush cutting the bracken from the path leading to Aberdaunant, CP2 - 3.
Before the event: double crossers set out
Richard Rosser and Roderick Hollands depart from Borth on the day preceding the event
Richard and Roderick take a rest in the vicinity of Plynlimon.
Before the event: Memorial Hall, Clun
Derek Norton helps serve breakfast at 03:30 am
Preparations in the Memorial Hall
The Start at Anchor 04:50 am
Bob Gold checks in Mike Gammon and Wyn George, both 'doublers', who have already completed the 45 mile outward leg.
They're off! SMERFS leading as usual
Views from Kerry Hill at about 07:30
Distant clouds that were to cloak the hills later in the day
Checkpoint 1 after 7 miles
Kathy and Christine approach CP1
Checkpoint 2 after 14 miles
Anne Breach and Tony Grimes
ITV Wales interview Stuart about the event.
Click here or on emblem for ITV Wales report on 41st Across Wales Walk: 5 Mbytes big!
Jane and Martin James
Doubler Roderick Hollands and Andrew Lenz
Richard Plumley, Robert Atwood and Brian Williams
Doublers Wyn George and Mike Gammon
Doublers Paul Sorensen and David Yorston
Checkpoint 5 after 37 miles
Checker Richard Swift and Brian Blake of RAYNET compare times.
Bob Bills (carrying boots!), Rob Young and Phil Stevens
Doubler Richard Rosser
Christopher Adaway and Dougie Waller
Steve and Anne Osborne
Brian Williams, Robert Atwood and Richard Plumley
Doublers Paul Sorensen and David Yorston
Clouds lifted briefly towards the end of the afternoon.
Local farmer Gareth Evans
Peter Stevenson and Judith Lamb
Jon Kemp, Julia Cooke-Simmons, Tim Ellwood and Graham Bayes
Presentation Ceremony, Aberystwyth
Stuart Lamb and Bob Gold
Special 'Olympic'-style presentation to joint fastest SMERF John Newman.....
...........and mock ITV Wales-style interview for the victor.
Vote of thanks by Peter Stevenson
Bob Bills receives the 2004 wooden spoon award.
Coaches return to Clun
Lynn Yorston, Paul Sorensen and David Yorston enjoy the morning sun.
To view a table of entrants and times in Excel format Left click here. To Save the file, right click here and follow the instructions.
After the usual all-too-short night spent at the Memorial Hall in Clun, the 103 starters left Anchor at 5 a.m. in generally dry and clear conditions. The early morning views of this infrequently-walked area of Wales were superb. However a band of thick cloud, forecast to arrive from the west, became increasingly evident and this duly capped the full length of the Cambrian Mountains down to a level of 1500 ft later in the day. This caused some navigation problems for those unfamiliar with the routes across Plynlimon. But, by 5:50 p.m., all were safely ‘off the hill’ and heading for the finish. One hour before dusk, the cloud finally lifted giving walkers and checkers alike a final view of mid-Wales in glorious low sun. Too soon though the light faded leaving the remaining entrants to traverse the narrow lanes to Bow Street and on to Clarach in the dark, the last of the 95 finishers arriving at Cardigan Bay at 10:30 p.m.
First home were ‘SMERFS’ John Newman and Martin McGreary in 10 hours 21 minutes. Six entrants (Wyn George, Mike Gammon, Rodderick Hollands, Paul Sorensen, David Yorston and Richard Rosser) also completed ‘double crossings’ having started from Aberystwyth on the preceding day and returning across Wales with the event.
After a relaxing night at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, entrants enjoyed a presentation ceremony. In this Olympic year, this included a special medal presentation to the fastest competitor, followed by humiliating interview questions from a trainee sports reporter who will remain nameless (the event proper was featured on ITV Wales news on the preceding day).
From an Organiser’s standpoint, the forty-first Across Wales was successful and enjoyable, primarily due to the efforts of West Birmingham Hostelling Group, the welcome band of walkers-turned-checkers and RAYNET who consistently provide the exemplary levels of support to the entrants for which this event has become renowned. Thanks to all.A date for your diary: the forty-second Across Wales Walk will take place on 3rd September 2005. See www.acrosswaleswalk.co.uk for details in early May.
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