t-5: Go teamUNICORN -LLCR130 – Liverpool to Leeds Canal race

Paul came into the conservatory and chucked a grey plastic mailing bag at me.

“What’s this?”

“A little present for the weekend”

I opened up the package…… Two white t-shirts for me and my wife with a picture of a Unicorn and TEAM UNICORN LIVERPOOL – LEEDS 130 CANAL RACE emblazed across it. Brilliant! So Paul, Karen and my wife Susie will be able to show they are part of the silliest run that I have ever done. (L – R – me, Susie, Karen, Paul)

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I will be running with 60 odd others from Liverpool to Leeds along the canal. A cool 130 miles (give or take – I’m hoping for take). I am not planning any heroics – my main aim is to finish within the 40 hour cut-off. Other aims are to have fun and to be nice to everyone else (tough over such a distance and without sleeping for two days). Here are the rules that I’ve written down to help me “Not be an idiot!”.


We will head up towards Liverpool ready for the start of the run on Saturday 27th at 6am. The 40 hour time limit means that I need to finish by 10pm on Sunday 28th. It’s further than I have ever run in one go (multiday events are a bag of chips in comparison because of the recovery time overnight).

I’m planning to bimble along, not get caught up in racing the other back-of-pack runners, and to do my own thing. I will have my crew – Susie, Paul, Karen to feed and water me every 5 miles or so, and with that in mind, I have just taken delivery of an Ultimate Direction Access 20 Waist pack. Enough space for the limited kit I am carrying on me.


Here is what I am running with.

1. A 500ml water bottle (with electrolyte in) I also have a handheld bottle that I may carry.

2. A basic nokia mobile phone (loaded with loads of free texts and calls).

3. Racedrone on old iPhone (follow me http://www.racedrone.net/event/leeds-liverpool-canal)

4. Jelly babies/Midget Gems/biltong

5. A British Waterways Toilet key

6. Some toilet paper and some wet wipes in cling film.

7. Cut to length waterproof tape for my feet.

8. £20 and a debit card.

9. Headtorch and batteries (during nighttime)

10. Waterproof taped seam jacket (if necessary)

11. Maps and my route crib card with rough pacing plan (and notes about bridges and diversions).

12. Arm sleeves – in case it gets cold.

13. My Saharienne hat (cap with neckflap) if it is hot.

14. Buff (so my headtorch doesn’t dig into my forehead).

As well as the gear, I need to remember to put suncream on and some running kit and shoes. Obvs.

Super excited. Can’t wait. ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Only a few days to go.


L – R: Paul and me!


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