Running a canal over consecutive days

Anyone done it?

20 messages
18/07/2012 at 15:03

Me and other half do quite a bit of running exploring and canals and rivers are proving a popular choice at the moment.

We have a holiday planned in September, but I was wondering about something later in the year/early next year that would involve running something like the Leeds to Liverpool canal over 7-10 days or so with a day or two at either end.

The biggest question for me at the moment is how an earth would we get our stuff between each location? I do some running with a small backpack, but I'd like this to be a holiday rather than a slog, so wouldnt really want to carry 7 days worth of stuff with me. We briefly thought about a narrowboat, but then we would still have to move it everyday to the new location and those thing go seriously slowly so that would waste valuable daylight running hours.

So has anyone done anything similar and or can you think of any way to do that sort of thing without a whole support crew?

18/07/2012 at 15:19

I saw the title and thought "why yes, I have - 3 days back to back".  Then I saw the rest of your question and realised I can't help you as I had my own personal factotum.  I guess you would have to pack very economically and use that running kit that claims not to get smelly.  And hope it really works!  (The alternative would be handwashing kit and hoping that technical kit dries quickly enough.) 

There are companies which will transport kit for some of these types of journey; there certainly are for the Cotswold Way, for instance.

18/07/2012 at 15:24

Yeah I know of those and had thought of that...but still was wondering if I had missed something in logistics terms.

There is also sledge on wheels option like artic explorers but again not really the point of the trip either.

We want to explore lots without cumbersome amount of stuff but I hate roughing it...and it could be pretty cold and wet so we would need changes of clothes. Hmm may have to consign idea to the bin of 'seemed like a good one at the time'...

18/07/2012 at 15:35

Not quiet the same and we did have one back up car.

But when we did Leeds to Scarbrough (65 mile along the A64) over a bank holiday weekend, we broke it up and walked from BnB to BnB. This meant we got to sleep in comfy beds and didn't have to carry rucksacks full of kit.

Just a thought.


18/07/2012 at 15:38

Andy how did you get the backpacks to the B n B's though? By car?

There is just the two of us. I do want to stay in hotels though

I suppose an option is to drive overnight and run from the hotel each morning but that either means doubling back or missing sections...

18/07/2012 at 15:40
Joolska wrote (see)


That's mint, that is.  I rarely have to look words up these days unless I'm reading an article by AA Gill. 

Curly - Do it by bike instead and carry everything in panniers.    (I've got pipedreams of doing this coast-to-coast US, but that's a different kettle of fish...)

18/07/2012 at 15:44

PP yeah but its not running is it

OH was thinking about doing this apparently:
Pacific Coast Route

Not that I am encouraging you to partake in kettling of course


18/07/2012 at 15:49



Yes by car.


It was a sponsored walk in aid of the local children’s hospice and we needed to make sure we completed so made use of a back-up car to get all our gear to the BnBs.


We had the route planned and the car stopped at set points so we could top off water bottles (it was a real summer ) and eat.


If you could get a third member for the group they could go from pub to pub to set up feed stations – Guinness is a food, Yes? While transporting your kit.





Edited: 18/07/2012 at 15:52
18/07/2012 at 15:53

Thanks Andy 

We wanted it to be just us because we dont get a lot of us time, I'd be a bit worried a 3rd person may spoil the dynamic slightly, we need some servants like Joolska - I keep saying we should get a butler

18/07/2012 at 15:58

But a butler would be a third person.

Also you would get a lot of "us time" as you woould only see the back up a couple of times a day.

You could always get a double canoe and paddle it, there and back and would be able to store all your kit in the canoe

18/07/2012 at 17:22

How about using bikes as return transport;

Drive to anticipated finish point for day 1's run with the bike in the back of the car and lock them up there, then drive back to the run start. 
Run the 15- 20 miles and cycle back to the car at the start, then drive on to Day 2's finish location and lock the bikes up again and drive off to your accommodation.
Following day drive to day 1's finish and start day 2's run.

It is a bit of a palaver and does add 2hrs extra exercise to each day,

(or you could do the same thing with two cars, quicker, less effort)

18/07/2012 at 17:42

That pacific coast bike ride looks good.   All I need to do is win the lotto.

18/07/2012 at 17:54
PhilPub wrote (see)
Joolska wrote (see)


That's mint, that is.  I rarely have to look words up these days unless I'm reading an article by AA Gill. 

I'm still deciding if that's a compliment, Phil, but glad to have increased your vocabulary!

seren nos    pirate
18/07/2012 at 18:05

how about booking 6 b and b's............on the way up you drop an overnight bag at each with clean clothing etc................after you finish you go back and pick up all the overnight bags...........

you would just need nice friendly b and bs that wouldn't mind storing a bag for you for the few days until you finish the trip

18/07/2012 at 18:44

I was going to suggest similar to seren. Or just leave clean stuff at a couple of hotels and restock your backpacks.  

Another option, put the bags in a taxi each morning and get them delivered to the next hotel.  Might be pricey depending on how far it is.

In my neck of the woods we have companies who collect and delivered luggage to B&Bs and hotels for walkers and cyclists so might be worth seeing if there's anything like that.

Sounds like a fun thing to do - good luck with it.


18/07/2012 at 19:37
We once hired a narrowboat with driver. Sleep and / or Stick all your kit on the boat then run to a prearranged location each day.
18/07/2012 at 19:47


Are you planning to do the Whole 127.25 mile?

That is one 'ell of a run


Edited: 18/07/2012 at 19:47
19/07/2012 at 10:54

Yes Andy possibly depending on how much time OH can get off work (he is a dentist so it depends). Its only about 18 miles a day over 7 days, which is about 3 hours running a day broken up into chunks (we will be stopping on route to look around some days and others running right through and stopping at the next B n B to look around).

I love the dropping bags off option - thanks hadnt thought of that at all! You guys are brilliant

Will check out the narrowboat with driver and the taxi/courier company too

Oooo looking interesting again as an idea anyway

19/07/2012 at 10:57

Off to match up my distance in miles chart to B n B's along the route

01/08/2012 at 14:42


I'm in nosey mode so.......

Are you going to go ahead with this brilliant idea?


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