The Towpath Challenge - Charity Challenge Number 1

A while back, Mike from the National Running Show, got in touch and asked if a bunch of us runner types would get involved in a run from London to Birmingham.  Not a race or demonstration of covering the 135 miles as fast as possible, but a multi-staged run that others could come along and join in with.  Clearly, I said yes straight away!  It gave me an easy first adventure for 2108 and I didn't have to do any planning, which is a win-win as far as I'm concerned.  This is the part where I tell you what the 'Tow Path Challenge' actually is...

Seems this simple canalside towpath has a bit of history and was never constructed as an entity, but is the result of amalgamations between 1894 and 1929 of several independent waterways — the oldest being the navigations around the River Soar in Leicestershire, the longest the Grand Junction Canal from Braunston to the River Thames.

The term ‘Grand Union’ is now generally taken to mean the canal from the Thames at Brentford to the junction with the Digbeth Branch in Birmingham. (Information from the Canal & Rivers Trust)

With the 4 people involved in organising this little run, and taking part in the National Running show (whether it's being one of the organisers or a speaker at the event), being London based you could have asked for a better route and so the Towpath challenge was born.

My training for this event started well but tiny microscopic bacteria decided that they would try and put a stop to this long distance running challenge by giving me appendicitis.  One emergency surgery later, 4 weeks of recovery and I think I’ll be part of the 10 runners taking on this little adventure, wearing a pair of homemade sandals.   A great way to kick off the swimming and running challenges I've set myself, and a great way to start my fundraising efforts for Cancer Research UK.



Here's to a grand week of running and inspiration!


Aleks Kashefi