Grand Union Canal

145 Mile Race (GUCR) 2020

Birmingham - London

GUCR 2020 | Saturday 23rd May 2020 06:00 at Gas Street, Birmingham

GUCR 2020 Pre-Entry Notes

THANK YOU FOR INTEREST IN THE GUCR 2020.  WE HOPE YOU WILL FIND THESE NOTES USEFUL IN MAKING THE DECISION TO TAKE PART.  EVEN IF YOU HAVE TAKEN PART PREVIOUSLY, PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS INFORMATION BEFORE COMPLETING THE SIENTRIES PRE-REGISTRATION.  TO SAVE YOUR TIME AND OURS, DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO WEAR A RACE NUMBER ON YOUR FRONT THROUGHOUT THIS RACE.  WITHOUT EXCEPTION, ANYONE NOT DISPLAYING A RACE NUMBER WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.
Competitors will be expected to have read the Event Rules and Terms and Conditions.

This is a not-for-profit event. We aim however to make a surplus, in order to make the race sustainable. All helpers are unpaid volunteers.  Please treat all helpers politely and with respect.  Any abuse of marshals will not be tolerated.

It is a tradition of the event that all runners and crews help each other as much as possible.  Please help uphold the tradition.

Keep a copy of the Terms & Conditions and these Pre Entry Notes.  Refer to them before race-day to avoid asking questions.


 ENTRIES

We expect many more SiEntries pre-registrations than the 160 places available.  In an attempt to reduce the number (and in the hope of reducing daft questions later) we have asked questions on SiEntries that can only be answered if you have read all the pre-race information e.g. Terms and Conditions and Pre-Entry Notes.

Pre-registrations with incorrect answers to the Questionnaire will be discarded.

If your entry is accepted (we will accept 160 and allow ‘natural wastage’ to reduce it to 100) you will receive confirmation by email and a provisional entry list will be published on the GUCR website news section. You will also receive an ‘invitation’ to re-visit SiEntries to make fees payment and confirm your place. The Entry List on SiEntries will be updated with your name once payment is made.


FEES

Payment of fees will be due in November 2019 via SiEntries. Please let us know as soon as possible if you become unable to take part. Cancellations before 31st March 2020 will receive a full refund or a 50% refund if the organiser is notified prior to 30th April 2020.  No refunds of the entry fee will be made from that date onward.


BUDDY RUNNERS

Solo buddy runners are permitted for Supported runners from 65 miles onwards. Buddies may be beside or behind, but not in front of, their runner.  If in front buddies will be regarded as pacers and Pacing is not permitted. Unsupported runners may also have solo buddy runners, but the organiser accepts no responsibility for their welfare or transport if they get into difficulty.  Support crews or buddy runners cannot be bicycle mounted.


RETIREMENT

Every runner has a responsibility toward other entrants and, with limited back-up, we cannot allow too much ‘race spread’.  If you realise you are not going to reach a checkpoint by its closing ‘cutoff’ time, telephone Race HQ.  Any runner arriving at a checkpoint after its official ‘cutoff’ time (which is not necessarily what the runner’s watch or mobile may show) will be withdrawn.

UPON WITHDRAWAL FROM THE RACE, RUNNERS MUST REPORT THEIR RETIREMENT DIRECTLY TO RACE HQ BY TELEPHONE. EVEN IF YOU STOP AT A CHECKPOINT AND HAVE NOTIFIED MARSHALS OF YOUR WITHDRAWAL, YOU MUST STILL NOTIFY RACE HQ. IF THE RACE HQ NUMBER IS BUSY, YOU SHOULD RE-ATTEMPT UNTIL YOU HAVE SPOKEN WITH US.

Only very urgent calls should be made directly to the Race Organiser number.  Both phone numbers will be printed on your race number and transfer charge calls will be accepted. To be repaid afterwards, please.

Transport to the nearest station, or to the Finish (eventually), will be provided for Unsupported retirees.

The overall time limit is 45 hours, to finish by 0300 hrs on Monday.  Runners reaching the finish after 45 hours will not be entitled to a certificate and finisher’s award and they will not be listed in ‘The Hall of Fame’ (unless in the race referee’s opinion there are exceptional circumstances).

The maximum permitted time stopped (at one place) is 40 minutes.  This is to make the point that this is a non-stop race rather than a series of ‘short’ runs with rest breaks.  The fastest overall times are achieved by those who waste the least time hanging around or sleeping at checkpoints.


RACE NUMBERS

Please write any medical information on the rear of your race number. Wear you race number prominently, on your front, uncovered, and full size throughout the race.  For your safety we have to know which checkpoints you have passed.  The race number identifies you from any other casual runners on the canal path and indicates to other towpath users that you are taking part in an official event.  It also provides anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across an injured or unconscious runner with telephone numbers to contact.

We will supply you with two race numbers. What you do with the second number is up to you. If you do not intend to wear your number properly, please do not enter.

We will be brutal about disqualifying anyone not showing their race number on their front, at all times, including the finish – even those who have competed/completed many times before.


CHECKPOINTS, DRINKS/FOOD & BAGS

The following checkpoints will provide tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cola, water and squash for all runners:

Catherine De Barnes (10.7 miles), Hatton Locks (22.5 miles), Birdingbury Bridge (35.9 miles), Heart of England (54 miles), Navigation Bridge (70.5 miles), Bridge 99, South of Milton Keynes (84.5 miles); Grand Junction Arms (99.8 miles), Springwell Lock (120.2 miles), Hambrough Tavern (133 miles), The Finish (145 miles).

Hot food & snacks for Unsupported runners will be at the checkpoint sites indicated above in bold.

We aim to have Unsupported runners’ ‘drop bag’ (maximum weight 10kgs) available at all checkpoints except Hambrough Tavern (133 miles).

NB. All distances are approximate as shown on the maps.  Please do not dispute mileage with the organisers, this will never be up for discussion.


CREWS

Supported competitors note that there is no crew access allowed at Fenny Stratford Lock.

Supported competitors should also note that at the Navigation Bridge (70.5 miles) checkpoint, all crew members must remain on the pub side of the bridge – not the checkpoint side and must wear a high visibility vest. Search for “high visibility vest” on Amazon.co.uk


MANDATORY ITEMS

Unsupported runners must carry route maps provided in order to pin-point their location should our transport need to collect them upon retirement.

All runners are required to carry a foil type ‘space’ blanket at night.  There may be kit checks at Registration and at checkpoints.

All runners are required to carry a mobile phone, fully charged and with sufficient credit.


OTHER

In April or early May 2020, full race information, will be sent by email or post as appropriate including:

  • Course Maps & Route Description
  • Shirt Order Instructions.  Shirts and Hoodies for both runners and crews will be available to order.
  • Advice for Support Crews
  • List of possible meeting points and a route description through Milton Keynes.  Please give these to your crew well in advance of the day.
  • Checkpoint Details including closing cutoff times.
  • Race Numbers

Keys are required for most Canal and River Trust (formerly British Waterways) facilities.  If you would like a key for the toilets and water points, either for yourself or for your support crew members, they can be purchased at Friday night Early Registration and on race day on payment of a £10 deposit per key.

To comply with UK:Athletics rules, we are obliged to add a levy to the entry fee if you are not an affiliated club member.  (To avoid paying extra at this, and many other trail races, consider joining the TRA http://www.tra-uk.org/membership the National body supporting truly amateur race organisers.)

Unsupported runners should think about their homeward journey as we can only guarantee transport to the nearest station or to the Finish.  Of course, we will try to arrange further help and lifts if at all possible.

Please be courteous to other towpath users as we dare not lose the goodwill of the Canal and River Trust.

A final reminder that First Aid cover is minimal and that there are no toilets, bushes or trees at the Start.  (Toilets at car park within 300 metres).

Reading through this, we realise that a lot of it sounds very straight and serious.  We would like to add that this is a light-hearted and friendly event (except for those who won’t wear numbers properly), which we are sure you will enjoy.  Please feel free to email Keith on keith.godden@canalrace.org.uk or phone 07780 685538 if you have any queries.


Footnote!

Many runners have contracted cellulitis, a serious condition, during, or immediately after, the race.  Please note the advice given in the Terms and Conditions.

Entry Information

Find out more about entering the 2020 Grand Union Canal Race

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