Like most people I like to have a couple of ‘A’ races to aim for each year. An early season ‘A’ race for me is the Canalathon. There are three distances, 50km, 75km and 100km. I’m doing the short one, which goes from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge along the canal towpath.
I’ve upped my running in the last couple of months, with my attempt at RED December (Run Every Day) and a 25km run last weekend (read about it here). My aim is to do another long run every two weeks, but probably nothing longer than 30km.
Despite the many ultra-distance triathlons that I’ve done, I’ve only previously done one ultra-run, which was Halloween Hell on the Humber. That particular race was a 6 hour run over and back across the Humber Bridge as many times as you can. Each lap was 4 miles and I managed 8 laps. I think the winner did 11. I had enough time to complete one more lap but I didn’t have the legs.
The run legs of the ultra triathlons that I’ve done have been on 1 mile laps, so Canalathon will be my first ultra-distance run that is a point to point.
I’ve mentioned to a few people about this race, and almost everyone has said that it should be nice and flat. In the 13 miles from Manchester to Rochdale there are 41 locks, so most definitely not flat. However, the race will be very easy to navigate as the race never leaves the towpath. The Rochdale canal beyond Sowerby Bridge goes through a tunnel so this makes it the perfect place for the finish.
An interesting fact about the Rochdale canal is that the summit is very short and has always struggled with a constant supply of water. Nowadays there is a limit of only four boats per day.
Me and my beautiful wife are hoping to make a weekend of the event, staying in an Airbnb with our dog, and hopefully doing Halifax parkrun on the Saturday. I’ve also booked the Monday off work to give my legs a chance to recover.