Grand Union Canal Half Marathon


Morning Harriers

Whilst many were running in the Paddock Wood Half or the Road Race Championships on Sunday morning, I had already decided to head over to Uxbridge to run in the spring version of the Grand Union Canal half marathon (there is an Autumn one in November too, which I imagine is a little muddier under foot). The course goes from Cowley Recreation Ground in Uxbridge to Cassiobury Park in Watford and follows the Grand Union Canal the whole way. It is a scenic route with narrow boats chugging away on the canal and other people wandering along the tow path and giving a friendly wave or greeting of support.

I actually parked at the end and got a coach to the beginning of the race which was run by Purple Patch Running. The set up at the beginning of the race was quite basic with only a few facilities provided. I felt it was quite a wait before getting started at 10am. The route was very flat (as you can imagine alongside the canal) apart from the odd bridge to go over and cross over to the other side. I was aiming for sub 1 hour 30 mins, as I had got just shy of 1 hour 33 mins at the TW half back in February. I ended up with a time of 1:31:43 (23rd position out of 350 runners and 16th senior male) which although missing out on my aim, was still a new PB, which I was very pleased with. I received a nice shiny medal at the end too, which I will add to the slowly growing collection.

The first runner home was Chris Balmer in 1:19:05 and the first woman home was Charlotte Svenson in 37th position with a time of 1:39:40.

I enjoyed the run, although I might look to give the Paddock Wood one a go next year.


Joshua Pratt