Kennet and Avon Canal Race 2023

As in previous years, the finish of the 2023 Kennet and Avon Canal Race was hosted by the John Sebastian in Bathurst Basin. The 145 mile race follows easy to navigate canal, river and railway paths from Little Venice in London to Bristol’s Bathurst Basin. On the way to Bristol runners ‘descend’ the magnificent Caen Hill flight of 29 locks, a drop of 237 feet in 2 miles, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’.

The winner this year was Justin Montague. Last year he came second in just over 27 hours. This year he set a new course record coming first in a time of 24 hours 31 minutes (an average speed of 10 minutes a mile). The course record was previously held by Paul Beechey who completed the course in 2017 with a time of 25 hours 48 minutes, over an hour slower than Justin. Justin’s wife Melissa also completed the race and came third in the women’s race.

The first female to complete the course this year was Michelle White in a time of 30 hours 52 minutes. Two years ago a women’s world record was recorded as 72 year-old Sandra Brown completed her 208th race of 100 miles or over.

Justin Montague at the finish.

55 runners started the race from Little Venice. 27 finished and there were 28 retirements.

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