Virtual Y Sir Fynwy Hundred 2021

The Mini Sir Fynwy: Helen Abbott (Recce)

These photos are from a recce I did 2 weeks before the event, from 12-16 May. I had recced the first 20 miles of the actual  Y Sir Fynwy in January 2020 and was very keen to recce some or all of the rest and ideally use this route for the main event, but would take a decision based on the results of the recce. At that time you could not even stay in a hotel in England at all, but you could in Wales. However I very quickly decided against the route for the actual event, thrilling though the route was in places. (And yes, it did rain. For 4 days).

The Super Sized Sussex Stride: Helen Abbott (Main event!)

This was not even plan B or C, a former Chilterns event or some combination of local loops, it was a plan I had not thought of until trying to imagine the antithesis of the underfoot conditions in parts of the route in Wales. The 50-mile Sussex Stride challenge event came to mind, based in Rottingdean and covering large parts of the South Downs. Back home I grafted on two loops of approx 25 miles each. A scenic and hilly western one visited Ditchling Beacon, the Clayton Windmills, Pyecombe village, Wolstonbury Hill and the Devil's Dyke before a zig-zag route return route via Stanmer Village and Ashcombe Bottom, rejoining the Sussex Stride at Blackcap on the South Downs Way. An Eastern route branched off above Jevington, essentially a circumnavigation of Eastbourne via the 1066 Country Walk with a loop at Beachy Head, rejoining the Sussex Stride for the stretch down to East Dean. The core 50 miles was nicely extended by my luckily finding accommodation just off the route at Saltdean which was the actual start/finish point.

(And yes it did rain but thereafter was either very sunny or very cold and windy at night absolutely necessitating the thermal hat, gloves, windproofs and fleece).

Needless to say, an unwalked 25-mile section and another largely unwalked 25-mile section are a very significant extra challenge, at least that is the excuse for a number of wrong turns and retraces with compounded effects of energy lost, timings being out and nocturnal water-hunting (successful). Suffice it to say that the last photo was taken within the time limit.