The Welshman vs The Canal


There are two types of person who would run 145 miles alongside a canal.

The first is someone who’s got his coat snagged on a narrowboat and really doesn’t have a lot of say in the matter.

The second is a balls-of-iron1 warrior of runningness, like Mr Taff Tanner.

This weekend, Taff will be tackling the Grand Union Canal Race which takes in 145 miles of towpath from Birmingham to London. Just in case the immensity of this feat hasn’t quite sunk in, I’ll spell it out…

One hundred. And forty five. Miles.

Imagine running 45 miles. For most of us it’s an impossible task. Nearly two marathons back-to-back. Now imagine another hundred miles chucked on top for good measure. Wow. Just bloody wow.

And just in case the distance alone isn’t enough of a challenge, there are rules. The race has to be completed in no more than 45 hours, and any rest break longer than 40 minutes will count as retirement. You can sit in a vehicle to rest and take shelter, but if the vehicle moves, you’re out of the race2.

I’m sure Taff (aka The Lord of Foot, aka The Thunda Runner, aka The Leg End, aka The Ultra Minion) will appreciate any encouragement you can give him along the way, whether in the form of kind words on twitter or a marmite butty nailed to a post somewhere along the route.

Actually, probably not that last one.

Good luck Taffster. Unleash Heck!

(You can follow him twitter here: @thunder_runna)

1 Or ovaries-of-iron, just in case anyone thinks I’m being sexist.

2The rules state that the one exception to this is if you need to move the vehicle in order to go to the aid of another runner. I’m no expert, but I’m guessing “Barry wanted me to get him some extra strong mints from the shop next to the finish line” won’t impress the race organisers.


One thought on “The Welshman vs The Canal

  1. Thanks Jay! Unfortunately I withdrew at 53 miles with a knackered foot as I could not put any weight on it and with the prospect of another 91 miles to go, sometimes the inner adult needs to surface and take over from the outer child! Am sore as hell today, its a tough unrelenting monster of a race, the winner finished in 26:20 – yes, 26 hours 20 minutes…….

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