LDWA – 26th Flower of Suffolk 2021

It seems a long time since the last Flower of Suffolk event, which was a very moist affair in October 2019. This was the scene at just before 08:00 a few moments before I set the first wave of walkers off on either their 18 or 26 mile adventure around the beautiful Suffolk coast. There were just shy of 100 people taking part in the event, some unfortunately unable to attend due to the national fuel crisis, but we were pleased with how many were able to get there. Although the 2020 event had to be cancelled, three of us did do the anytime version of the challenge walk last year.

I’ve trained Richard up at the registration desk and he’s actually getting quite good at it now. We’ll let him come back for future events. He was also able to work out how to keep the doors open, which was all far too complex for me. Richard and I also worked out a very decent system for combining bingo with checking registration numbers, something which we will perhaps repeat at future events given how efficient we were.

The kitchen crew and volunteers, ready for a day of feeding the entrants (and the marshals).

The kitchen, with the goulash on the go…..

Back to the route though, for those walking or running (or something in between) the 26 mile event, they leave Walberswick and head north for a short while towards Southwold, before heading down towards the lost town of Dunwich. They then cut through Dunwich Heath and RSPB Minsmere before reaching the Eels Foot Inn which is a pub with a checkpoint, a lovely combination for the marshals there. Entrants on the 26 mile route than do a loop which cuts near to Sizewell Power Station, before walking back inland towards Walberswick. It’s a really lovely route and there’s a high chance that some of it will be included on the Norfolk & Suffolk 100 which will be held in 2025.

That’s quite a lot of cheese. This is also the scene of where Hayley spent what seemed like several hours making custard, we must ensure that there’s an electric whisk type arrangement for the next event, although she did a marvellous job as always.

The goulash with bread roll, which I was very willing to check in my role as official group food tester. Chelle is definitely very good at ensuring that even vegetables can taste nice.

Just before the final entrants arrived safely back at the village hall in Walberswick, which is the event HQ, there was a little bit of rain and a rather beautiful rainbow. Unlike the situation of two years ago, there were no problems with the weather and it remained bright and warm throughout the day.

The feedback from the event was very positive, which is always a delight. Thanks as ever to the wonderful marshals for their efforts during the day, and the very helpful Eric Rolfe is sending on some photos which will appear on national LDWA social media (and perhaps also in Strider) of some of the action on the walk itself. As I didn’t get out onto the route itself (it was non-stop at the registration desk), I didn’t get any action photos of entrants enjoying their walk during the day.