Leeds Liverpool Canal Race

There are rumours from credible sources that this race will happen in August next year. 

The Leeds Liverpool Canal is approximately 127 miles in length, and links the two aforementioned cities, so this would be a possible alternative to GUCR. 




  • image


    I hate towpaths but as the LL goes through a lot of places I know very well I'd be tempted by this...

  • I live next to one of the branch canals and run up there quite often for my afterwork plods and can say the section out of Wigan towards Leeds is exceptionally hilly for a towpath, around 20 locks within a couple of miles.

    Sounds like a plan for next summer.

  • I've done the 29m from skip ton to Leeds a few times. Quite nice, but I crave the trails I see branching off image

  • I live along the Leicester link of the GrandUnionCanal, which would itself make an interesting race.  About 76 miles in total.  Starts in Northants and passes through Leicester, Loughborough, and into Nottingham. 

  • It might make an interesting project for one weekend. 

  • I assume the one Ben is refering to is a single stage race as opposed to over 4 days, hence the suggestion of a possible GUCR alternative ...

  • Indeed Roger. 

    Dick Kearn will be involved in the organisation, so I can’t see it being anything else. 

  • If late August I could be persuaded,

  • Well the rumours were true. 

    They are taki9ng entries now, if anybody is interested!

  • Be sure to send us a race report!

  • For anyone interested, my memories of the Inaugural LLC130 http://wp.me/p3AZwn-bt

    Terrific inaugural race that is sure to become a classic like GUCR! I finished in 27:59 and 8th place and was happy with that given I'd raced the NDW100 2 weeks earlier.

    Incidentally, it is closer to 130 than 127 as you detour away from the canal at Gannow Tunnel and Foulbridge Tunnels. The official distance of the canal itself approx. 127 is not the same as the running distance. Obviously you don't run through the tunnels image ... so detours are significant and enough to make it closer to 130 I'd suspect.

    Unfortunately I inadvertently stopped my Ambit at 70 miles so cant confirm until we get some feedback from other runners GPS. Then may be take an average.

  • Awesome result, and thanks for sharing the write up.  I will stick it on the bucket list!

  • Cheers Ben!

    LLC130 is well worth the visit. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to do it again next year, although it's bit close to Spartathlon, so need to think about it.

    Good luck if you enter next year!

  • *belated Update  - I ran this again in 2015 to finish in 24:07. An improvement on last year.

    Loved it even more the second time around! I thoroughly recommend this event. If you also do the GUCR the organisers ere planning on a Canal double award. Best performance over both events (GUCR and LLC130) Can't wait for GUCR again nowimage

    Incidentally, LLC130 fell a little too close to Spartathlon for me this year but I reckon it actually set me up nicely, as I managed to finish my first Spartathlon in 31:33. (Report here if interested http://www.ultraian.wordpress.com)

    LLC130  may fall a week earlier in 2016 but that has yet to be decided. Get your entries in quick though as first come, first served. You'll love it.

    These 3 events are simply brilliant!!!

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the heads up Ultralan - the start of this event is relatively close to me but I was blissfully unaware of it - not any longer though - I'm in. Brilliant blog mate!

  • Cheers lowrez!.

    Great if you're already got your name in but be sure to email Dick Kearn at [email protected] to be in with a chance if not, as it's first come first served! See you in Liverpool!


  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    Thanks UltraIan - that's what I meant by "in" - email confirmation in my in-box from Mr Kearn! Just seeing if I can muster my own support crew! Got the zoomable map out on the desktop and access points to the water under scrutiny. Brainstorming session came out with "lets hire a barge and sail alongside as you run"! That went cool when wiki told us there are 91 locks to negotiate! I think I might beat them to Leeds by 3 days!

    This is an amazing project. Are you going supported or unsupported?

  • No problem lowrez, I just weren't sure if you meant you'd actually submitted your interest.

    The longboat idea has cone up before, for GUCR too image There are sone serious stretches of locks on botb events and I recall there's quite a climb on LLC130.

    I have always run unsupported on both events (Twice each on GUCR and LLC130)

    There is a theory that going supported can benefit finish time by about 2 hours on GUCR at least, so I guess that would follow for LLC130 too, assuming of course that it holds true for everyone. I'm not completely convinced. I think it depends on whether it works for you or not. There are pro's and cons to everything of course.

    Apparently it takes about 5 days for a longboat to navigate the length of the Grand Union so I'd guess a little less for LLC. So yes you could potentially beat the longboat by 3 days image Good luck getting in, then you can put your prediction to the test. In fact, you'd have to make sure of it because of the cut off! image

  • 1,500m or so of elevation over the 130 miles, that's from looking at GPX files mainly from cyclists doing it.

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    UI - Looking at the distance between check points I immediately jumped to supported mode. Maybe I've been spoilt; max event distance to date has been 55 miles but with support points every 3k or less, that means you can carry nowt and just focus on the running, although you do have to have complete faith in those support points. If I pitch my finish time forwards from that I would come in at around 28 to 29 hours, although realistically I think I would take longer, but well inside cut-off. Interesting what you say about that 2 hour difference - what is the theory behind it? We got to talking that a one person support team is a risk - driving and being up for 24 hours plus - so widening the net for a relief driver etc - had no idea it would get this complex from simply drooling over the concept of the race from a pure running angle - these developments are no burden though in fact they make the event that more fascinating. I guess you must be carrying some supplies with you all the time? What kit set-up do you have?

    BT - thanks for that stat - looks very achievable - but makes me look in awe again at the engineers that built this beast - makes me want to go and look up who invented the lock - and who actually believed them when they pitched the original idea! I think the biggest challenge in climb I might have done is 3,000ft over a 13 mile stretch, most of it in the first half, loved it, so this is fine. Are you on board too?   

  • Lowrez. Its all explained in pre entry notes/ rules about supported/unsupported requirements. 

    I think original thoughts on tbe 2 hour difference just originated based on historical stats, but it may have been James Adams who first mentioned it, but not sure.

    Kit requirements for me are Salomon Skinlabs race vest, Petzl NAO headtorch, Montain Minimus Jacket, warm clothes for the night leg and I tend to stick with road shoes for my races.

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    Thanks for your feedback again UltraIan - I think I have the same Salomon vest, only got it recently for the White Rose really like it. Got a Coleman head torch as a first try heading my way too. Currently looking at satellite views of the canal... fascinating stuff. 

  • There is a FB page for LLC130 too with some useful files, but check against later updates supplied by Dick as there is a possibility that some info like for example CP locations may change. Nothing decided yet though I understand.

  • Guys, anyone who's dithering about entering should make a decision pronto before all places have gone. Quote from Dick Kearn in his recent email to those who have already applied...

    "If you have friends who may be interested in taking part, please warn them that the majority of unsupported places are taken, so if they don't have a crew, it would be best to contact Dick soon!  Best wishes, Dick and Wayne."

  • I live close to a canal.  Hills really aren't my thing, this is so tempting as i'm used to just plodding along beside a canal on my training runs. (Yes, I'm lazy).

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    booktrunk did you go for it? My official entry form is in - they had not hit the 100 limit - still places in either supported or unsupported categories. I looked up some stats; 91 locks enable the canal to climb 1500m or so over its length but none of those individual climbs will be over arduous... the max at anyone point is 5 locks strung together in a "stair", nice change from the flat.

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