Grand Union Canal Half Marathon - Spring

Lovely point-to-point race from Cowley Recreation Ground, Uxbridge along the Grand Union Canal to Cassiobury Park, Watford.

A flat, scenic, unusual, multi-terrain course. Traffic-free apart from one minor road crossing.

As this is a point-to-point race, you can choose to leave your car at the finish and use the bus to get to the start - your car will then be waiting for you when you've finished. You can book and pay for your seat on the bus when you register. Great spectator-friendly start at Cowley Rec & finish in Cassiobury Park!

Grand Union Canal HM Prize List:-Trophies for 1st, 2nd 3rd Male & Female overall in each race

Trophies to 1st MV/WV 40/50/60/70+ in each race

A Finishers Medal for every adult runner!


Timetable of Events:

8:00am: First bus leaves Cassiobury Park, Watford, to go to the start in Uxbridge.
8:45am: Last bus leaves Cassiobury Park, Watford, to go to the start in Uxbridge.
*This is only for those runners who have pre-booked the bus).
8:15am: Registration opens at the start for you to pick up your race pack.
10:00am: Half Marathon starts in Cowley Rec, Uxbridge (in 5 minute waves) (approx).
11:15am: Half Marathon winner finishes in Cassiobury Park, Watford (approx).
12:15am: Prize presentation.

Start time:

In order to avoid congestion on the towpath, we will be starting the race in waves.

  • Wave 1 will start at 10:00am
  • Wave 2 will start at 10:05am
  • Wave 3 will start at 10:10am
  • Wave 4 will start at 10:15am

You will be emailed before race day with your Wave number.

Your Wave will be allocated according to your estimated time to complete the race, with faster runners going off first.

*Please note that it is not possible to change waves on the day – your race number will denote which wave you should be in and you will not appear in the results if you start in the wrong wave.

Start Venue:

The Start is at Cowley Recreation Ground, Cowley, Hillingdon, UB8 2EA. There is NO PARKING at Cowley Rec – see below for race parking, which is at Cowley Business Park.

Uxbridge tube station is approximately 1.3 miles from the Recreation ground – a nice warm-up jog, or there are buses that will take you down Cowley High Street from the tube. West Drayton railway station is approx. 1.5 miles away.

Finish Venue:

The Finish is at Cassiobury Park, Watford, WD18 7HY. The nearest landmark is the Cha Café, near to the Shepherds Road entrance to the park (pedestrian access only). Watford Metropolitan tube is directly adjacent to the park.

Car parking:

If you are leaving your car at the finish in Cassiobury Park: there is limited parking in the car park at the very end of Gade Avenue, right next to the park. Alternative parking can be found at the tube station and there is also limited on-street parking around Cassiobury Park. Please see for information on parking.

If you are leaving your car at the start in Cowley Rec: there is NO parking at Cowley Recreation Ground. Race Car Park is at: GallifordTry, Cowley Business Park, High St, Cowley, UB8 2AL. Many thanks to GallifordTry & Esselte for the use of their premises for the race car park.

Coach to start:

The coaches will be leaving from next to the Gade Avenue car park WD18 7LG. If you have booked a seat on the coach to the start, you will receive an email in the days prior to the race.

The coaches will be in place at 08:00am and each will leave as soon as it is full. The last coach will leave no later than 08:45. Please note: there is NO bus back to Cowley after the race!

Race Numbers & Chips:

Race numbers and chips will not be posted out. You should pick up your race pack on race day at the start from the relevant desk in Race HQ (surname order). You will be given an envelope with:

  1. Your race number - please pin to the FRONT of your top
  2. Your chip – this will be attached to the back of your race number – please do not remove!
  3. Your baggage tag – please attach to your bag before going to the baggage van

Entries on the day:

We may be taking entries on the day, if places remain

Baggage - Sponsored by Handy Moves:

The baggage vans will be at the start (Cowley, Uxbridge) from 09:00. All baggage will be taken to the finish (Cassiobury Park, Watford) for you to collect. Please attach your baggage tag to your bag before going to the baggage vans.

The route:

The race takes you along the canal towpath from Cowley Recreation Ground, Uxbridge, to Cassiobury Park, Watford. As a multi-terrain route, it will provide you with different challenges along the way. The route follows the canal towpath and you will meet other users, whether on foot or bicycle or angling – please be considerate to other users. We will do all we can to warn other users in advance and to facilitate your run. There is one minor road crossing over a small bridge just after the start - please take care here and cross only when you can see it is safe to do so. Some of the bridges you will be running under are quite low – please take care. The footpath is narrow and rutted in places – please take extra care on these stretches. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t pass someone – remember there will be a wider section coming up when you can make your move! Above all, enjoy the route, the countryside, and all that entails.

Our wonderful marshals:

Marshals will be stationed along the route at strategic points – please comply with instructions given by the marshals. There will also be arrows and red & white tape to direct you along your way.

Mile markers:

The route will be marked with mile markers.


Start: There will be temporary toilets in Cowley Rec.

En-route: there are no race toilets along the route (for obvious reasons!), but you will pass a number of public houses along the way, who would almost certainly allow you to use the toilets should you need to mid-race.

Finish: There will be temporary toilets close to the finish. There are also public toilets in Cassiobury Park at the lido and opposite the lido on the grass.


There will be 4 water stations along the route and a water station at the finish. There will be no water provided at the start, so if you need water before the race please bring your own bottle. Please note the water stations provide water only.


Prize categories:

Prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd, 3rd Male & Female (regardless of age) then 1st Male & Female in the following categories: V40, V50, V60, V70+. If a V40/50/60/70 runner has already collected an overall prize, that category prize will roll down to the next finisher in that category.


The presentation will take place at approx 12.15pm.


Fabulous bespoke GUCHM Medals will be given to each finisher - do both races and see how the designs interlock.



Apart from the start & finish, there are a number of good vantage points for spectators along the way. It is quite possible to drive to one or more points and still get to the finish in time. Follow the Grand Union Canal between Cowley & Watford on any map and you will find road crossings, etc, where you can catch the runners as they pass through.


There will be refreshments available at the start; and food, coffee, tea, soft drinks etc, available to buy in the Cha Café at the finish


It takes a lot of marshals and helpers to put on a race, especially in a location such as along a towpath. If a member of your family would like to help as well as cheer you on, please ask him/her to get in touch. Or if you are injured and cannot run, perhaps you might like to help out instead. Marshaling is fun, rewarding, and very much appreciated by all! Please either call us on 0207 684 7185 or email: [email protected]

Discussion Board

Only registered users can leave comments