Grand Union Canal 145 mile Race

25th May 2019 06:00 at Gas Street, Birmingham

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 18 or over, 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.

Regarded by many as Britain’s premier Ultra, this is a145 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 eighteen 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.

 GUCR line route map - Birmingham to London

Course Records

Men: 22:16 Dan Lawson (2015); Ladies: 27:26 Cat Simpson (2017)

Awards

“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 11, 22, 36, 54, 70, 85, 100, 120 and 133 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, and buddy runners (not pacers) one at a time, on foot, only from 65 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 27th);
  • is limited to 100 starters in total.  Most places will be allocated by a draw.

Rules

  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.)  Competitors must reach the Navigation Bridge (No 64) Checkpoint at 70.5 miles within 19 hours, i.e. by 0100 hours on Sunday.
  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 the vehicle is going to the aid of another entrant in difficulty.
  5. All competitors must display their race number to the front. It will be recorded at checkpoints en route. The medical form on the reverse of the number must be completed.
  6. All competitors must carry a mobile phone for calls to Race HQ; and have the financial means to sustain themselves in the event of breakdown of support vehicle.
  7. All competitors must carry a foil ‘space’ blanket at night.
  8. Unsupported competitors must also carry the provided maps.
  9. Unsupported competitors must have one kit bag only, clearly labelled. For overseas competitors, and in exceptional cases, 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.
  10. Competitors and crews must accept full responsibility for their actions (see Terms & Conditions).
  11. Entrants must undertake to inform the organiser if unable to take part (see Pre-Entry Notes).
  12. Buddy runners (someone who runs with the competitor) 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 65 mile meeting point at Bridge 55, Stoke Bruerne Bottom Lock. Buddy runners must be on foot.
  13. Walking poles are not allowed at this event for runners or buddies.
  14. All runners and buddies must carry a torch, or headlamp, and wear reflective clothing when on road sections at night.

Route

Registration, Start & Finish

Early Registration on Friday evening 24th May is open from 17:30 until 20:00 at Central Travelodge, Broad Street, B15 1AY. Roadside pay and display parking is available nearby on Granville Street and Tennant Street.
Registration on race day Saturday 25th May opens at 05:00 at Gas Street, B1 2DS. Ample car parking is available on Gas Street, right next to the start.
The Finish is canalside at Little Venice, Delamere Terrace, W2 6ND within 15 minutes walking distance of Paddington Railway Station. Roadside parking is available on Delamere Terrace, right next to the finish.

Aid Stations & Cutoffs

Race Fees & Refunds

Supported: £60, Unsupported: £90, including booking fees. Please add £1 extra if unattached to a UK club.
Fees from successful applicants will become due when requested via SiEntries after the draw.
Cancellations before 31st March 2019 will receive a full refund.  A 50% refund will be paid if the organiser is notified between 1st and 30th April 2019.  No refunds of the entry fee will be made from that date onward.

Entry Information

Find out more about entering the 2019 Grand Union Canal Race

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