In consideration of the success of the “one-off” Warwickshire Ring Canal Race, and of the difficulties experienced by the volunteer crews on the London to Bristol (KACR) event, Canalrace C.I.C. have felt a need to make changes. The man at the top, Keith Godden, considered shortening the KACR route, or even dropping the race in favour of the new event. But, having overheard runners’ comments about it being “brutal” and, “a beast of a race”, the normally mild mannered Keith, changed his mind and made it even harder!

Early KACR checkpoints will now be approximately marathon distance apart, later ones about 15 miles or less. Running the usual route from Little Venice, London, to Bathurst Basin, Bristol, but adopting the WRCR format. There will be just six checkpoints: CP 1 B3026 Car Park, Nr. Dorney (25.6 miles); CP2 The Waterside Centre, Reading (55.7miles); CP3 Dundas Arms, Kintbury (77.5 miles); CP4 Barge Inn, Honeystreet (99 miles); CP5 Parson’s Bridge, Hilperton (116 miles); CP6 Locksbrook Inn, Bath (131 miles). Because of traffic conditions around Bristol and Bath, unsupported runners will not have access to their bags at CP6.

Because of many comments that the Coventry based WRCR was too good only to stage once, the “one-off” label was dropped almost immediately after the event. Four races in a season would have meant a lot of work for a single organiser, left little recovery time for competitors, and made heavy demands on the volunteer team.

The decision therefore has been made, that WRCR will in future alternate with KACR as the “middle race” of the Canalslam. The WRCR will therefore return in June 2024, it’ll be just as it was in 2022. There will be no KACR in 2024.

Dates for 2023 have already been published, and the “Uphill” version of GUCR announced.

GUCR in 2024 will be returning to its traditional “downhill” direction – Birmingham to London, but with the possibility of some minor revision of checkpoint positions.

Adopting the, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” policy, the LLCR will be the same beautiful, slightly-shorter-than-advertised, route as ever for 2023 and 2024.

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