Thursday, 20 March 2014

Future Trips

One of the advantages of now owning our own boat is that we don't have to wait for 'our turn' to come round before we use the boat. This means that we are able to participate in canal events and activities.

We have so far volunteered to help out with Black Country Half Marathon. The route used is along the tow path of the BCN Mainline and narrow boats are station every mile or so to act as water & refreshment points for the runners. We've not heard anything back yet, so not sure if we will be needed.

I have over the last few years always wanted to take part in the BCN marathon challenge, but our weeks on Eos never coincided with the event so it has always been a bit of a pipe-dream. This year however we are able to take part and have sent off our entry fee.

Saturday 24 May 2014 - Sunday 25 May 2014

BCNS 24 hour Marathon Challenge 2014
Start planning your routes now - start anywhere on the BCN that you wish, and finish at Hawne Basin at 14:00 on the Sunday.
The event is open to everyone with a boat licensed for use on British Waterways canals.  Historic working boats and pairs are welcome.
A friendly competition, starting at 08:00 on 24 May, wherever on the BCNS you want to start, and finishing at 14:00 on 25 May at Hawne Basin with a compulsory 6 hours rest.
The winner is determined by a point system, with extra points for full length boats, buttes, small crews, cruising the lesser traveled parts of the BCN.  
The detailed information & rules are on this link, and an the entry form is here.
Having got the rules back I was a bit surprised at the time allowed for the cruising. The event starts at 8am on the Saturday and finishes at 2pm on the Sunday. This is a total of 30 hours and boats/crews must rest for a minimum of 6 hours. That means that if people use the whole of the 24 hours allowed for cruising then there  are both very long days and traveling late into the night. For example a 14 hour day on the Saturday will mean a 10pm finish and a 4am start on the Sunday to use all of the available 24 hours.

Both the long hours and cruising when it is dark do not seem to be very safe or be very considerate of other canal users. However the event has been run for a number of years, presumably without any mishap so, the organisers must be aware of the risks. We though won't be cruising when it is dark or starting before the crack of dawn on the Sunday, so second place (in our dreams) for us.

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