Another Ultramarathon Running Blog

2018 Grand Union Canal Race GUCR

“There was a long run called the Grand Union Canal Race

30 hours of running had been my planned pace

6 times I had finished this, my performances okay

A decent time I was due, some others did say


I stood on the start line the weather overcast

Recent fitness was decent, my illness was past

We set out from Gas Street, into very light rain

I ran slow and steady, which was my aim

The temperature was rising, we could all feel the heat

An early face plant occurred as I stumbled on my feet

I dusted myself down and set out on a trot

The earlier mishap, didn’t phase me a lot

The afternoon was roasting, my body was on fire

But my pace continued to be steady and I did not tire

The directions were familiar, no need for the map

The ice cool water was welcome, from a fresh lock tap


Navigation bridge was upon us, half-way some say

75 miles to go is still a long way

Food and fresh trainers and at the feet a quick peak

With feelings of soreness, they were starting to creak


Into the evening, this was more than half done

But a greater focus was required to continue to run

Some company I had, I bumped into Jay

Talk we did, there were things we both had to say


Darkness was upon us, we were into the night

Flash lightning lit the sky, to give you a fright

Once the lightning had stopped, there was an impending sense of doom

As the biblical rain fell and the thunder started to boom


My feet were now trashed, the blisters had won

My spirit was low I thought I was done

Tiredness was upon me, I wanted to sleep

Keep walking forward, there was no time to weep

Into day two and the weather was hot

With sore limbs and tiredness, enjoying this… I was not

Dreams of success were gone, I did not care

All I wanted, was to finish this walk of despair


Little Venice had arrived, the end was in view

A disappointing day but at least a medal was due

Pure relief as I sat, a 7thfinish was mine

Get up and finish Ali.. you’re a yard short of the line!

One step to the finish and then this was done

Tired and sore, I question why we do this for fun

35 hours along 145 miles of trail

That’s the end of this year’s Grand Union tale”

Final Note

Hope you enjoyed the slightly different write up this year. The usual writing style would be far too depressing and is probably the same as 2017 report (but slower) anyway.

I would like to thank Keith, Dick, Wayne and all the marshals who gave up their valuable time to help host the event. Particular shout out to Alan and Pete who I saw a fair bit (even when I didn’t want to leave the 100 mile point during the worst of the storms!). In addition, a huge thanks to Adrian Lee who said he would ‘pop out to see me a few times’ and appeared in between or at  most checkpoints during the race with cans of coke and satsumas to keep me going.

Finally, credit to Ross Langton for several of the photos I have used on the blog.

One Response to “2018 Grand Union Canal Race GUCR”

  1. Kevin Matthews

    Great write up Paul – love the change of style!!!!! 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


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