London - Birmingham

"The Long Run - Uphill"

Saturday 25th May 2024 06:00 at Delamere Terrace, Little Venice, London

GUCR Information

Held under UK:Athletics rules and with the kind permission of The Canal & River Trust, this non-stop race is from Gas Street Basin, Birmingham, along the way-marked Grand Union Canal Towpath to Little Venice, London.  Competitors, who must be 20 or over on race day, are recommended to have their own support crews, but up to 50 Unsupported runners can be catered for by the Organisers, Canalrace C.I.C.. Trail Running Association Permit Number: 6281.

For any first-timer runners wondering what they have let themselves in for. These are un-sponsored, non-profit making and very low-key events. Don’t expect any media coverage, razzmatazz or freebies. To avoid disappointment at the end of your race (as well as during), set your expectation to low, and then halve it!

Canal & River Trust

Race Introduction

Regarded by many as Britain’s premier Ultra, this is a 145 mile continuous race from Gas Street Basin in the Centre of Birmingham, to Little Venice in the heart of London.  Run entirely on the waymarked Grand Union Canal Towpath, the easy to navigate, and relatively flat route, takes runners through a variety of urban and rural scenery – there should be something for everyone.

This is a race organised by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.  It is definitely “old school”; definitely low key, and definitely a long way.  There are no entry qualifications (other than that you must be over twenty and willing to give it a good try) so runners of all abilities are welcomed.  Entrants should, though, be aware that they must be able to maintain a rate of progress in line with an overall time limit of 45 hours.

GUCR is the first of a three race series “The Canalslam” totalling over 400 miles.  Each race can be entered as a one-off, but competitors completing all three receive a special award.

  • Easy route navigation – detailed maps and a canal to follow.
  • Plenty of support – snacks and drinks every 10 –15 miles.
  • Transport for retirees – a lift to the nearest station for anyone having a bad day.
  • Easy to meet cut-off times – simply in line with the generous overall time limits.
  • No qualification – previous experience of just a marathon has proven enough.

Line Map

 GUCR line route map - Birmingham to London

Course Records

Men22:15Dan Lawson(2015)
Ladies25:45Samantha Amend(2022)


“British Waterways” perpetual trophy for 1st Man and 1st Lady; canalware trophy for 1st Man and 1st Lady; certificate and memento for each finisher; memento for all Canalslam finishers.

N.B. This event:

  • is minimum support, but with feed points at 12, 25, 46, 61, 75, 92, 109, 123 and 134 miles for Unsupported runners.  Drinks available for all competitors at these points;
  • has no first aid or medical backup, but provides transport for retiring Unsupported entrants;
  • welcomes support crews throughout, and solo buddy runners (not pacers) on foot and only from 75 miles;
  • has checkpoint cut-off times in line with an overall time-limit of 45 hours (i.e. to finish by 0300 hours on Monday);
  • is limited to 100 starters in total.  Most places will be allocated by a draw.


  1. The full distance must be completed on foot, keeping, wherever possible, to the recognised towpath route.
  2. All Competitors must notify Race HQ (Tel. 07778 550945 or 07780 685538) immediately on retiring (even if they have already reported this at a checkpoint) or if they drop behind a schedule in line with the cut-off times.
  3. Competitors must reach all checkpoints by the closing times printed on the supplied maps.  They must leave within 40 minutes of arrival.  (Ref. rule 4.)
  4. Competitors will be deemed to have retired if stopped for more than 40 minutes at any one time.  Competitors may enter vehicles for warmth, rest and nourishment, but will be disqualified if the vehicle moves.  Any runner seen in a moving vehicle will count as retired, even if the intention is to return to the same place to resume, unless that vehicle is going to the aid of another entrant in difficulty.
  5. All competitors must display their race number to the front, at all times, and ensure it is recorded at every checkpoint en route by showing it, upon arrival, to the timekeeper. The medical form on the reverse of the number must be completed including emergency contact name and telephone number.
  6. Supported (with own crew) competitors must have at least one support crew member with a vehicle from the Start, and for the duration of the race.
  7. All competitors must carry a mobile phone, switched on at all times, for calls to or from Race HQ; and have the financial means to sustain themselves in the event of breakdown of support vehicle.
  8. All competitors must carry a whistle, and a survival blanket (140cm x 200cm minimum size), at all times.
  9. At night, all competitors and buddies must carry a torch or headlamp, with spare batteries, and wear reflective clothing when on road sections.
  10. All competitors must bring their own cup for accessing hot and cold drinks at aid stations.
  11. All competitors must carry the provided maps, at all times, in order to pin-point their location should their crew or our transport (in the case of Unsupporteds) need to collect them upon retirement.
  12. Unsupported competitors must have one kit bag only, clearly labelled. For overseas competitors, a maximum of two clearly labelled kit bags will be accepted. Competitors must minimise the size and weight of their bag, bringing only what is necessary. Maximum permissible weight: 15kg.
  13. Buddy runners (someone who runs with the competitor) must be on foot. They must not run in front of their runner, always beside or behind. If in front they will be regarded as pacers and pacing is not permitted in this event. Competitors may have only one buddy runner at a time and then only from the 74.2 mile meeting point at Cosgrove Village Hall. Buddy runners must not carry any food, water or other supplies for their runner, i.e. muling is not permitted in this event. Buddies must depart aid stations at the same time as their runner.
  14. Walking poles are not allowed at this event for runners or buddies.
  15. Sharps, any needles, scalpels, or other articles that could cause wounds or punctures to personnel handling them, must be locked within a suitable container inside kit-bags.
  16. Competitors, crews and buddies must accept full responsibility for their actions (see Terms & Conditions).
  17. If unable to take part, entrants must undertake to inform the organiser – before race day please (see Pre-Entry Notes).


GUCR Elevation Profile
This is an illustration of the route only, and should not be used for navigation. Official detailed race maps will be provided to competitors before race day.

Registration, Start & Finish

Early Registration on Friday evening 24th May 2024 is open from 18:00 until 20:00 at The Bridge House, 13 Westbourne Terrace Road, London, W2 6NG (to be confirmed). Limited roadside parking is available nearby on Delamere Terrace and Chichester Road. Prebookable and chargeable parking is available at the Bell Street car park, 5 Bell Street, Paddington, London, NW1 5BZ (2.0 metre height clearance) or alternatively Q-Park Church Street, Penfold Street NW8 8BG (1.9 metre height clearance), both around a 15 minute walk. Travelodge London Central Marylebone is located at Harewood Row, Marylebone, London, NW1 6SE, a 25 minute walk from the start.

Registration on race day Saturday 25th May 2024 opens at 05:00 at Delamere Terrace, Little Venice, W2 6ND and is within 10 minutes walking distance of London Paddington railway and underground stations. Limited car parking is available on Delamere Terrace, right next to the start and on Chichester Road.

The Finish is canalside at Gas Street, Birmingham, B1 2DS. Limited pay and dislay roadside parking is available. Brindleyplace multi-storey carpark is nearby on Brunswick Street, B1 2JF. There is also limited roadside pay and display parking nearby on Granville Street and Tennant Street.

“Uphill” Aid Stations & Cutoffs

Race Fees & Refunds

Supported: £70, Unsupported: £110, including booking fees. Please add £2 extra if unattached to a UK club.

Fees from successful applicants will become due when requested via SiEntries after the draw.

Cancellations before 29th February 2024 will receive a 95% refund. A 75% refund will be paid if the organiser is notified between 1st and 31st March 2024.  A 50% refund will be paid if the organiser is notified between 1st and 30th April 2024.  No refunds of the entry fee will be made from that date onward.

To cancel a place, message as soon as the decision is made. If more than 180 days have passed since the original card transaction, we will make any refund due via PayPal transfer to the email address on SiEntries. Upon request we will make the refund via BACS; in this case make sure to include bank account number and sort code details.

Entry Information

Find out more about entering the 2024 Grand Union Canal Race

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