The 8th Gin Pit Double Marathon
The 2 marathons in 2 days Challenge
10:00am Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th March 2018
“The original and only single loop double marathon in the UK”
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The Gin Pit Marathon challenge is to complete the 26.2 mile course of one large loop, twice over 2 consecutive days. To my knowledge this is the only true double marathon in the UK using a single 26.2 mile loop course and one of the longest running doubles of it’s kind.
My inspiration for this marathon event started back in 2010 when I realised I was always having to travel to run a marathon. It occurred to me that there were very few local marathons. This is now less of a problem with more marathons in the North West, some are excellent large city events but none as unique as this. I can’t believe we are back for a 8th time. My original plan was to only ever hold it once!
With the help of family, friends and my running club Astley & Tyldesley Road Runners the Gin Pit Marathon weekend has developed into a low key event with a friendly, homely and welcoming feel that gives local runners the opportunity to run a marathon or even a double marathon on their own doorstep. As far as I know it is the first of its kind and still the only single loop double marathon in the country. Over the years this event hasn’t just attracted local runners but runners from all over Britain wanting to take on the Gin Pit double challenge. I think the event offers something a bit different that leaves competitors with fond memories for a long time and I wonder whether it will continue for many years to come. I’ve found all the positive comments from entrants over the past 7 years heart so warming and spurs me on to keep holding the event. The event continually grows and I hope the event will be enjoyed as much by runners in 2018.
The course is one large loop taking in 11 miles of canal tow path, 12 miles of trails, which are mostly derived from disused railway lines but I’m afraid there are still 3 miles on public roads. Sorry I couldn’t quite find a way of making a whole course road free.
I must thank our northern industrial heritage for giving us these lovely trails and canals to run along. It is fascinating to imagine that many years ago these trails would have seen large steam trains belching out huge amounts of stream and pulling heavy loads of coal. The canal tow path would have had horses pulling fully laden barges along the Leeds Liverpool canal, locally known as the Bridgewater canal. Today they have been transformed into tranquil trails and paths which we can enjoy, away from the bustle and fumes generated by 21st century traffic.
Look out for the picturesque village of Worsley at 9 miles, with its beautiful black & white mock Tudor buildings contrasting with the unusual orange canal water. At 11 miles you will pass through the village of Astley where the coal mine’s pit head still remains. Its iron work & wheel stand proud above everything else as a lasting reminder of the industry that used to overwhelm the whole area.
The beauty that has come out from the coal dust of the industrial revolution can be enjoyed by those of us willing to leave the roads behind to explore and probably get muddy!
The Start and the finish are at the Miners Welfare Club, Gin Pit Village, Ley Road, Tyldesley, Manchester, M29 7DW (pictured below).
During periods of wet weather the course can be very muddy in places and trail shoes are recommended for these conditions.
Please do not enter the Welfare Club in muddy trainers and running gear, you will get me into TROUBLE!
Race limit is 75 runners per day.
There is a 6 hour time limit each day.
Minimum age 18 and all competitors must have completed a sub 6 hour marathon within 12 months of the race day.
The event is held under UK Athletics rules.
Trail Running Association Race Permit Number 1350.
Race start time 10:00am each day.
Daily pre-race registration and collection of race numbers will be 9am at the Welfare Club next to the start.
Maps and directions will be available at registration each day.
Competitors are able to enter either day of the event or both, just indicate your requirement in the appropriate boxes provided on the entry form.
Any updates will be posted on this webpage.
Click here to download course directions
I have created the directions as a word document so that competitors may alter it to fit their individual needs, for example increase font size to make it easier to read while running.
For runners’ RACE DAY and Safety Information please, click here.
Results will be posted on this website the day after the event.
Click here for March 2018 results (after the race)
The event is a self guiding course, maps and directions will be issued at the start. There will be water stations at 4 points along the course at 7.85 miles, 13.2 miles, 19.3 miles & 22.25 miles. Taking a hydration pack or a bottle of water and energy gels is encouraged especially if the weather is warm.
For runners looking for medial advise please follow the link to the Runners Medical Resource Website.
For a copy of the event’s risk assessment, click here.
Directions (available at the start of the event)
Garmin (will work well in conjunction with the directions)
Mobile Phone (fully charged & switched on)
Waterproof map cover
Hat and gloves
Long sleeve top & leggings
Money raised from this event will be donated to the Brathay Trust to help their work supporting disadvantaged young people and helping them fulfil their potential. Brathay deliver community programmes through schools and councils, backed up with residentials at their hall in Ambleside. They also run the Lowbank Ground centre in Coniston for Wigan Council, supporting and helping develop thousands of children and young people in the North West every year.
I wish you all the very best and hope you enjoy the event.