A man, a plan, a canal, panama

Or, more accurately, a woman, a daft idea, a canal, Leeds-Liverpool.

After a bit of pondering, I’ve set upon my post-Janathon challenge – I’m going to run the length of the Leeds-Liverpool canal this year. It’s an idea that I considered last year, but dismissed as being a bit too, well, difficult. Having completed Janathon successfully and in one piece, it’s now just another daft running challenge*. My daylight Janathon runs made me realise how much nice scenery is on my doorstep, how much I like a canal and that I only really run along the same 7 mile stretch (leaving another 120 miles unexplored).

The full route - mapped by Canal Junction http://www.canaljunction.com

I’ve no rules (other than taking photos and blogging about each section) and I’m adopting an Eric Morcambe style mindset – it’s all the right miles, just not necessarily in the right order…

*I’ve since looked at the route on a more accurate map and panicked at my foolishness. Especially as a lot of sections will be 6-8 mile there and back agains, meaning that I’ll be running along the same 3-4 mile sections twice (we do have a plan b to get around this). I’m also a bit worried that this plan will start taking up all of our weekends. And I’m a bit worried about the section between Blackburn and Yorkshire; it’s mainly moor. However, I know that covering this distance is possible because other people have done it on foot, with a dog and a ukelele and by bike, there’s a chance of some camping trips over summer and it will be nice to run through all of the seasons.

As such, yesterday saw the first 3 miles completed between Gathurst and Appley Bridge.

Go left!

Ginge picked the starting point and off we trotted, down the splashy, muddy towpath with the rain steadily coming down. We started at Bridge 46, ran 3 miles to Bridge 40 and then came back taking photos (all the photos are on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/travellinghopefully/).

Half way point - Bridge 40

The lock that goes nowhere

Mossy milestone

Swing bridge with...

....handy health and safety warning

The old and the new

The start and the finish

I have only just taken delivery of a fantastic map, but in the meantime these are the basic stats:

Miles run = 6
Canal miles completed = 3
Total canal miles = 3/127
Bridges = 46-40

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9 thoughts on “A man, a plan, a canal, panama

  1. Adele says:

    Oh flip, this is a lovely idea. How about a running holiday, completing it over the course of a week or so…or is that just too daft?

    It’s great what Janathon puts into peoples’ heads!

  2. Mum says:

    After surviving the rigours of snow,ice and darkness of Janathan,you must be mad.!
    Just do’nt fall in !

    • travellinghopefully says:

      You can come along on your bike if you want to…. Wait til you see my new map!

      • Mum says:

        Mr Toumis and I had already been pondering the logistics of two seniors,one walking, one cycling along the canal.Previously done some of this and agree with you the peace, tranquility and changing seasons along the towpath take some beating.

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