Saturday, Sunday, or Both!
This past weekend was the Town to Tring/Tring to Town canal trail run up (or down) the Grand Union Canal between Brentford and Tring. Saturday was Town to Tring, 40 miles, Sunday the reverse, and quite a few hardy souls ran both of them!
I only did Sunday, Tring to Town. My brother and his wife plus their 3 Border collies drove me to the start and supported me all day long, bless them. Nice to meet up with some other forumites and Pirates at registration, and also to finally meet face-face with Rory Coleman, one of the organisers. Beautiful hotel where the Sat competitors had stayed overnight. Jez for the men (4:26 on Sat and Jo for the ladies (5:20) had both won on Sat and were looking to repeat the feat. Short race briefing at 8am, start photo outside the hotel, then we were off through the car park across the road and follow the red/white tapes down onto the towpath and head down for London Town!
Pressed on for checkpoint 4 and soon left the others behind. from here on there were some not so nice parts, especially around Southall where there was a lot of trash on the path and in the canal, plastics and glass, horrid. It was starting to get a bit gloomy and several times I had to pass some guys loitering on the path, luckily none of them bothered me, was probably just me being paranoid, but the poor man at checkpoint 4 (34.6 miles) had had stuff chucked at him all day long from the bridge above.
Forgot to mention about navigation - it really was as easy as Rory said, just follow the towpath and cross the numbered bridges, no prob as the path changed sides of the canal anyway. It was now dark enough for my headtorch, and things started to look a bit spooky but I knew there was only another 5 miles to go so pressed on as fast as I could. We were told to cross fpr the last time at bridge 207 and go down to number 209, leaving the canal by the Holiday Inn, but there was a little problem with that - all of a sudden it looked like the path just stopped and i really didn't know where to go. Milled around for a couple of minutes trying to decide if I had gone wrong somewhere, don't really think too well when I'm tired but luckily a respectably dressed businessman came along just then, and toldme the Holiday Inn was only a couple of hundred metres further on, we just couldn't see it because we needed to go roudn this little covered boat marina - I felt a bit scared but followed him warily , ready to run, as he switched on his torch and went off through the marina. Got through there and he pointed at the Inn right in front of me - hurray! Only needed now to circle the hotel up onto the bridge, turn left and go up Brentford High Street to the finish at Premier Travel Inn, to be met with a bear hug and kiss from Rory as he slipped the ribbon of my finisher medal over my head. Finish time: 10 hours 27 mins. Not last, and well inside the time limit of 12 hours. Very happy - got washed and changed and had a beer to celebrate!
IW - both days!!!!!!!!!!
now there's someone who's got the bug, CONGRATULATIONS.
Getting out there is an achievement, finishing is another.
Returning is ... yet another.
Respect to you.
Did your brother & sister in law enjoy the day?
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