45th Across Wales Walk
6 September 2008
Drizzle and mist, drying later, but horrendously wet underfoot from the torrential rain on the preceding day.
This page provides reports and timing information for the 45th Across Wales Walk.
2008 Photo Gallery:
Oh no, not 2006 all over again?
Trying to get to Clun on Friday: the effect of two inches of rain in two hours on roads in the Teme Valley.
Maggie Gold, Martin McGreary, Judith Lamb and Sarah Lamb shelter at CP2
Mike Pinner at CP2
Richard Plumley arrives at CP2
James Kingham at CP2
Sarah Lamb checks in John Atha at CP2
Ian Davis leaves CP3
Busy times at CP3
Crossing the outflow of Llyn Craig-y-Pistyll
Double crosser Richard Rosser at CP5
Judith Lamb presents Richard Rosser with his Double Crossing certificate
Stuart Lamb receives the Across Wales Walk wooden spoon from Peter Stevenson in recognition of efforts to get to the start on the preceding Friday
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.
In the week leading-up to this year’s Across Wales Walk, weather forecasts predicted high winds and heavy rain for the day of the event. As Organiser, I feared repetition of 2006 when the event had to be suspended at checkpoint 3 due to awful conditions over Plynlimon. However, as the weekend approached, the weather front accelerated from the west bringing two inches of rain in two hours for parts of Worcestershire and Shropshire on the preceding Friday. Many roads were closed through flooding, frustrating the attempts of the Organiser to get to the start of the event at Clun. Having strongly considered cancellation of the event, I eventually arrived at 11pm, eight hours after leaving Redditch just sixty miles away! Nevertheless, 105 entrants eventually made it to the start at 5am for the forty five mile trek to Clarach Bay.
Whilst the weather on the day was ultimately better than forecast - drizzle and mist early on, drying later - conditions underfoot were possibly the wettest in the history of the event. Certain sections were extremely muddy and many of the streams to be crossed were swollen. In particular, the outflow from Llyn Craig-y-Pistyll was a spectacular, roaring cascade.
Despite the conditions, eighty five entrants completed the event, first home being Gareth Knight and Chris Pritchett in a time of 9hr 54m. The final entrants arrived at Clarach in fine form exactly 18 hours after setting out from Anchor. Consecutive double crossings were attempted by John Newman and Will Etheridge, whilst David Hooper, Tony Grimes and Richard Rosser attempted continuous double crossings i.e. without an overnight break at Clun. Just John and Richard were successful, but all attempting ‘the double’ earned our particular admiration for enduring Friday’s horrendous conditions on their outward leg.
After arrival at Clarach, entrants enjoyed a well-earned rest at Aberystwyth University followed by a presentation ceremony on Sunday morning. Peter Stevenson, in closing the event, recognised the Organiser’s efforts in battling the elements by awarding the infamous Across Wales Walk Wooden Spoon: a lifetime ambition fulfilled!
Thanks go to West Birmingham Hostelling Group and the welcome band of walkers-turned-checkers who once again made the event possible. Thanks also go to RAYNET who provided their usual superb communications between checkpoints.
The forty-sixth Across Wales Walk will take place on 5th September 2009. See www.acrosswaleswalk.co.uk for details in early May. Early application is recommended as we’re usually full within the month.
Once again, thank you very much for a spectacular weekend. During the walk there were times when I was never going to enter another AWW again but having had a good night's sleep it didn't seem that bad - what on earth was I complaining about. Poor old Paul, boy did he suffer from my moans and groans yesterday. Anyway, refreshed I am ready to think about next year, God willing.
The camaraderie this morning is what AWW is all about - as Peter said, there is no other walk to match it. We really do appreciate all the effort you all put in.
Just a quick note as a first timer to thank you, your family, and all your support team for a truly fantastic experience. I’d read up on the event and positive feedback given in past reports and, rather sceptically, had concluded that it couldn’t possibly be that good… But it was! .. the organisation and support was brilliant. To cap it all I had the pleasure of sitting down at breakfast with Peter Stevenson and his good lady, before he gave his Oscar worthy speech of thanks. See you next year.
The Across Wales Walk always produces a superb weekend, the route is the same but the weather always manages to throw in a different set of challenges to make each crossing unique, this crossing must go down as one of the toughest, due to the waterlogged ground. How Richard Rosser managed to cross on Friday night in horrendous conditions and then return in style on the Saturday was awesome. As usual the company and bravado during the walk was great. But it all would not have been possible without your organisation and the support of your team of helpers. So once again, thanks Stuart, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.
Just to say thank you for a truly wonderful walk last weekend. It was superb, much better than I had ever dared expect - such wonderful scenery for every yard of the way! Even the weather was far better than expected too (although you may not have been thinking that on the Friday evening!)
The organisation was outstanding; many, many thanks to you and all the checkpoint helpers who stayed on so late to let last finishers like myself continue and finish! Everyone was so friendly and helpful. It was very much appreciated - I was so pleased to be allowed to finish, after getting a bit lost and thus holding you all up. Please pass on my thanks to them all.
I really enjoyed the whole weekend - it was a great experience and one I hope to do again and again now! Best wishes and thanks to all concerned.
Just to say thank you very much to all your family and helpers who braved the conditions; I think it was a year when walking was easier than marshalling.
Just wanted to say thank you for organising a fantastic walk. It was obvious that a lot of effort and planning must have gone into it and you and your team did a brilliant job. Looking forward to next year already!
Thanks very much for organising another splendid weekend. I know these "bad weather" events give you a lot of headaches but I think you cope remarkably well.
I really enjoyed the walk, including the road section from CP5, that is, as far as the Bow Street turn to Clarach. I think "The Team" looked after us really well and provided just what we required. Sunday's ceremony was a delight and to receive my certificate was like winning a "Gold".
I will remember last weekend long after my big toenail has grown back!
Thanks again for yet another excellent AWW this year, despite the weather (can you organise better weather for us next year please!). Although I seem to recall we said “never again” last year…
Thanks to you all for your appreciative comments, Stuart.
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