The charity making life better by water

Take part in Canalathon

We're challenging you to take to the towpaths over the course of June to raise money to protect the nation’s historic canal network, home to some of the UK’s much-loved and endangered wildlife.

Woman running alongside the canal in Birmingham as part of Canalathon

We're asking you to take part in a ‘Canalathon' raising funds as they walk or run the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) along their local canal towpath across the month.

Get involved today

Almost nine million people live less than a mile from one of our waterways, making them popular and accessible places to exercise. But our ageing canals are under threat, with costly repairs required to keep them open for the communities who enjoy them and for the wildlife that depends on them.

There are lots of ways to get involved in the Canalathon. participants can walk or run the 26.2 miles all in one go or in bite-sized chunks, working at a pace that suits them, over the course of a month. The challenge can be completed solo or in a team of family, friends, or colleagues. Participants will receive limited-edition Canalathon shoelaces when they get their first donation and a free branded running vest when they reach £100 on their fundraising page.

A fantastic way to raise money

Maggie Gardner, fundraising director at Canal & River Trust, said: “Our canals and rivers are on the doorsteps of nine million people, offering somewhere for us to live, relax, get active, spend time together and get close to nature. But these special places, many dating back 250 years, need our support if they are going to survive. Taking part in the Canalathon is a fantastic way to raise important funds to keep our canals free and accessible for us all to use and enjoy and help nature flourish in the hearts of our towns and cities.”

Paul Steele, ambassador for Canal & River Trust and Canalathon participant, said: “The Canal & River Trust's vital work repairing centuries-old locks, bridges, tunnels and aqueducts means that millions of people can live healthier lives, with research showing that spending time by water really can make people feel happier and healthier. The Canalathon gives us all the chance to discover the waterways, clear our heads and find our inner calm, as well as raising money so future generations can continue to enjoy these benefits. I'm going to be taking part in the Canalathon and it would be great to see as many people as possible joining me in the challenge.”

Last Edited: 17 April 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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