41st Across Wales Walk

4 September 2004

The Across Wales Walk

41st Across Wales Walk in summary:

Weather initially clear but low cloud above 1500ft made navigation very difficult over Plynlimon. However the rain held off all day.

  • 103 starters, 95 finishers.
  • 6 successful double crossings.
  • Fastest time 10 hours 18 minutes.
  • Last man home 17 hours 33 minutes.

This page provides reports and timing information for the 41st Across Wales Walk.

  1. Photographs of this year's event
  2. Entrants and completion times
  3. The Across Wales Walk: an Organiser's perspective

If you took part in the 41st Across Wales Walk, please click here to record your experiences and comments in the Across Wales Walk Guest Book

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


Christine Usher

Doubler Roderick Hollands and Andrew Lenz

Rob Richardson

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.


41st ACROSS WALES WALK: entrants and completion times

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.

41st ACROSS WALES WALK: an Organiser's view by Stuart Lamb

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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