The Route

The Grand Union Canal stretches from London to Birmingham, a waterway backbone through England, and was formed in 1929 as an amalgamation of a number of different canals and waterways, many dating back to the early 1800's, to compete against the railways and roads being built. With the connecting network of canals is the UK's longest waterway totalling nearly 300 miles.

Today the Grand Union Canal is for some a vibrant community of narrow boats and barges, from holiday makers to traders enjoying the diverse scenery and community of the waterways. However for many the Grand Union Canal remains an unknown and unexplored passage from the noise and traffic of the capital, a route to break out into the countryside. Along the Grand Union's towpath you will encounter great scenery, history, industry, wildlife, & peaceful villages - but it's also the course of your challenge - pushing yourself father than ever before!

The main start is in Paddington, Central London. The 100 km course is broken down into four ~25 km stages, with a main rest stop at the end of each. Alongside the full 100 km challenge, there are two 50 km challenge events, and four of 25 km. All start locations, major 25 km rest stop & finish points are located close to train stations for ease of joining and departing the challenge - we also supply shuttle buses to those nearby stations for those departing the challenge.

Grandunion Lrg

London Start:

Maida Vale, Nr Paddington.

25 km Rest Stop

Lake Farm Country Park, Hayes.

50 km Half Way Point

Cassiobury Park, Watford 

75 km Rest Stop:

Tring, Hertfordshire

100 km Finish:

Stoke Hammond, Bucks.

Route Options - walks & runs

100 km - 24 hour walk, or ultra marathon run

  • London to Stoke Hammond
  • Runners set out  between 7 - 7.30am
  • Walkers set out between 9 - 10.30 am
  • Runners must have a sub 15 hour target time
  • Good train links from finish back to London

50 km - Walk or run as a 'marathon plus' challenge

> 1st 50 km London to Watford

  • Runners set out  between 7 - 7.30am
  • Walkers set out between 7.45am - 8.45 am
  • Good train links back from Watford to London

> 2nd 50 km Watford to Stoke Hammond

  • Runners set out 12pm (to join in with London starters)
  • Walkers set out 9.00am - 10.00am
  • AND overnight 'Moonlight' walk option that sets out 10pm
  • Good train links from Stoke Hammond back to Watford or London

25km - four walk options & two runs

> 1st 25 km London to Hayes - walk or run

  • Runners set out Saturday between 7 - 7.30am (with 50 & 100 km' ers)
  • Walkers set out later at 10.45am - 11.30am
  • Good train links back to London

> 2nd 25 km Hayes to Watford - walk only

  • Walkers set out Saturday afternoon at 2.00 pm
  • Good train links back to London from Watford

> 3rd 25km Watford to Tring - walk or run

  • Runners set out Saturday 12.00pm (same time as 50 km runners)
  • Walkers set out earlier at 9.00am (Same time as 50 km walkers)
  • Trains from Tring go to Watford & London

> 4th 25km Tring to Stoke Hammond - Sunday walk only

  • Walkers set out at 8.00am
  • Trains from Stoke Hammond go back to Tring & into London

Challenge Partner Charities