At 2.10am my alarm went off and it was time to try and eat some breakfast and head for Clun, picking up Aide Brown en-route (taxi service provided by Catherine, still not quite sure how Aide and myself managed to talk her into it). We got to Clun village hall about 3.20am and met up with Dave Lloyd, Gary Lewis, Phil Jones, Glyn Williams and Chris Goode. We all indulged ourselves in toast, tea, coffee and orange juice provided. With full bellies we left our drop bags in the village hall, these were to going to be dropped off at the various check points along the way.
We were then directed to the buses that were to take us to The Anchor Bridge for the start of the event. After being checked into the start area and meeting some of the people who were doing the double crossing i.e. They had just run/walked from Clarach to the border at The Anchor bridge during the night and were now turning round and heading back!
Just after 5am we were off; within an hour or so it was soon light and we were able to enjoy the views along the route, which were fantastic, as was the weather. Strictly speaking this is a walking event and so as long as you don’t get lost, the check point times are easily achieved if you run a few sections. Each year more and more runners are taking part and probably account for 40% of the competitors.
There were 5 check points on route, which had varying refreshments on offer to eat and drink, along with the bags that we had deposited for the checkpoints earlier on in the day at the village hall. We all finished at Clarach bay within 15mins (around 10hrs 40mins) of each other. Having run together until the last check point 7 miles from the end, which was the only all terrain section (the vast majority of the course being off road).
According to the comprehensive results spread sheet I was emailed a few days later this time equates to an average speed of 4.2 mph. If anyone would like some interesting, yet lengthy bedtime reading I would be more than happy to forward this spreadsheet to them!
At the finish line we were greeted by Sue and Dawn (Gary and Dave’s respective other halves) brandishing varying alcoholic drinks for us which we duly drank, while the sea soothed our weary legs- very pleasant.
Phil Jones accompanied his cousin along the route and managed to complete it in 14hrs 37 mins, having walked most of the event, and so completing it well inside the 18hr time limit.
We were all then taxied to Aberystwyth University where we would stay the night.
Following a well deserved bath it was down into Aberystwyth for food and yet more drink, although much to the amusement of the others I could only manage water as my stomach was doing a very good impression of a washing machine on spin cycle!
Next morning was breakfast at the university followed by the presentation of certificates and a bus journey back to Clun. During which we over took the competitors travelling along the A44 in the Aberystwyth to Kington bike race. So perhaps next year the plan could be to run east to west across Wales on Saturday and cycle west to east on Sunday!?
This was a fantastic weekend (helped by the weather) and I fully recommend this event to all as due to the cut off times being set for walkers they are easily achieved and all for under £50!
On the bus journey home there was much talk of entering the Housman 100 in May. Across Wales Walk having been a qualifier for the LDWA’s flagship event, which moves around the country each year and is due to start and finish at Moor Park School next year- I best get out and do some serious training I think!