The Grand Union Canal Race is one of the UK’s oldest still running ultramarathons (or possibly the
oldest?), with the first event happening in 1993 to celebrate the opening of the first British Waterways Walk, and marking 200 years since the canal itself first opened. You can read the race report from that first event at the official Canal Race website here
I was commissioned to create a GUCR map for a finisher a couple of years ago, covering her 145 mile journey along this historic canal from Birmingham to London.
This one was created on an A3 sheet of Khadi hand made cotton rag paper. The illustrated compass took inspiration from how canals were often drawn in some old maps I came across.
The decorative details in the top corners and above the title were inspired by the canal boat artwork often seen on the boats of Britain’s waterways.
Then detailed along the route are the key bridges, locks and sights from Liz’s memories of her race.