Grand Union Canal 145 mile Race (GUCR) 2024
London - Birmingham
"The Long Run - Uphill"
Saturday 25th May 2024 06:00 at Delamere Terrace, Little Venice, London
GUCR 2024 Pre-Entry Notes
THANK YOU FOR INTEREST IN THE GUCR. 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.
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 unnecessary questions.
We expect many more SiEntries pre-registrations than the 180 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 180 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.
Payment of fees will be due in November via SiEntries. Please let us know as soon as possible if you become unable to take part. 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.
Solo buddy runners are permitted for Supported runners from 75 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 the buddy’s welfare or transport if they get into difficulty. Support crews or buddy runners cannot be bicycle mounted.
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.
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); Tring Reservoirs (99 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 15kgs) 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.
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
Unsupported runners must carry the provided route maps 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 all times.
All runners are required to carry a mobile phone – charged, with sufficient credit, and switched on at all times.
At night, all runners and buddies are required to carry a torch or headlamp, with spare batteries, and wear reflective clothing when on road sections.
All runners and buddies must carry their own cup for accessing hot and cold drinks at aid stations.
There may be kit checks at Registration and at checkpoints to ensure compliance.
In April or early May, full race information, will be sent by email or post as appropriate including:
- Course Maps & Route Description
- 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 £5 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07780 685538 if you have any queries.
Many runners have contracted cellulitis, a serious condition, during, or immediately after, the race. Please note the advice given in the Terms and Conditions.
Find out more about entering the 2024 Grand Union Canal Race