LDWA event, so mostly walkers but 50-ish runners did the marathon.
Course was not marked, and no map, but written instructions were given. Fairly good instructions but ambiguity in a couple of places.
Route followed many rivers, streams and canals, in an almost circular route.
Canal canter might sound flat, but canals have two features...
Firstly, locks. The route had three "flights of locks". In reality, that means hills.
Secondly, junctions. The canal network in Birmingham is like the roads in a housing estate, lots of junctions. And to follow a towpath, this normally means bridges. There are lots of bridges on this marathon, 40-50 of the humpy-ist bridges possible. Oh, and the bridges are mostly paved with bricks, and deliberately laid un-evenly to give good grip in icy weather, so a real trip hazard.
The scenery is great for a city centre marathon. Surfaces good, mostly tarmac, but beware mooring pegs and ropes. Towpaths mostly empty, except for a few anglers, and very few cyclists. There is a short stretch called Gas Basin Junction which is a developed area with shopping and restaraunts, so pedestrians and pushchairs to watch out for.
4 checkpoints, with water, squash and cakes and sandwiches. One checkpoint had 8 varieties of cakes, like a cake judging show. Limit intake, or suffer stitch?
No cups for the drinks so, in common with many LDWA events, take a mug.
Free parking, Food and drinks afterwards, not bad for £10. Very good event, would recommend. Except to anyone who had done an ironman two weeks before...
Time: A rather pathetic 5:39, more of a trot than a canter.