Grand Union Canal Race

I have just spent the day surrounded by complete and utter awesomeness.

I didn’t mean to. It just turned out that way.

My plan was to walk a little way along the Grand Union Canal, starting at Paddington, to see whether I could spot any ultra runners. I ended up walking the 12 miles from Paddington to Hamborough Tavern, where I stopped at Checkpoint 9 (mile 133). On the walk, I bagged three runners, James*, Kevin and David who went on to place 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, and while at the checkpoint, I netted a further clutch, including Marvellous Mimi, who had run the route in reverse first and so was on mile 278!

At which point, my phone battery died, and I hitched a lift back to Paddington (mile 145) to watch a goodly number of the same runners finish.

145 miles. On foot. In one stretch. How amazing are these runners?

So. My day (or at least the first bit before my battery died) in pictures.

09:37 James Elson

09:37 James Elson

gucr 1020

10:20 Kevin McMillan

gucr 1105

11:05 David Rowe

gucr 1124

11:24 Onoda Wilcock

gucr 1215

12:15 Mark Gregory

gucr 1229

12:29 Rudi Vanden Berghe

gucr 1242

12:42 Paul Ali

gucr 1243

12:43 Geoff Smyth

gucr 1246

12:46 Sam Kilpatrick

gucr 1300

13:00 Woody Woodus

gucr 1301

13:01 Philip A Smith

gucr 1307

13:07 Terence Chiew

gucr 1315

13:15 Sarah Thorne

gucr 1322

13:22 Alayne Malkin

gucr 1344

13:44 Tremayne Cowdry

gucr 1417

14:17 Diane Roy

gucr 1422

14:22 Jany Tsai

gucr 1433

14:33 Peter Huser

gucr 1434

14:34 Deti Gartner

gucr 1451

14:51 Ian Davies

gucr 1452

14:52 Ian Thomas

gucr 1453

14:53 Richard Heath

gucr 1501

15:01 Jennifer Aradi

gucr 1510

15:10 Phil Stapleton

gucr 1512

15:12 Anne Green

gucr 1517

15:17 Mimi Anderson

gucr 1520

15:20 Dudley Manning

gucr 1529

15:29 David Hegarty

gucr 1533

15:33 Martin Ehrensvard

*Who had covered 138 miles and still (a) smiled, (b) talked in coherent sentences, (c) recognised me out of context from a photograph and (d) went on to win. Impressive much?


About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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10 Responses to Grand Union Canal Race

  1. Wow! That really is some serious mileage!
    Awesomeness indeed.

  2. JovialGnome says:

    I thought it was a typo when I saw the bit about Mimi on twitter but no it was correct – that is some kind of awesome!

  3. plustenner says:

    how do they look so good after running so far??? I’d be crawling on all fours looking for the nearest bus 🙂 As for Mimi, she is superwoman indeed!

  4. shazruns says:

    Awesome indeed. You signed up for next years run yet?

  5. Geoff Smyth says:

    Thank you for your encouragment and for taking the photos! Very thoughtful and a great momento of the day and my elation (surprise!!) at reaching CP9! Cheers, Geoff

  6. ultraian says:

    As Geoff commented above, it was thoughtful of you. Thanks for the coverage and taking the pics. I’ve used one on my own blog and acknowleged you of course 🙂 It was an amazing challenge and so nice to have it captured. I’ll be back next year if I can get in, but having a crack at the TR250 in a couple of weeks whilst the mileage is still in the legs:-)

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