The Gin Pit Double Marathon is a low key friendly event, giving runners the opportunity to take on the course twice over two days if they are feeling brave! Race organiser Malcolm Collin, who has completed well over 100 marathons wanted to put on his own race with the help of his running club Astley & Tyldesley Road Runners so that local runners wouldn't have to travel so far. He believes in creating a welcoming feel to the race and says:
"I think the event offers something a bit different that will leave competitors with fond memories for a long time and maybe I've started something that will continue for many years to come. I'm so pleased with the positive comments from entrants over the past 3 years and with interest in the event growing, I hope the event will be enjoyed as much by runners in 2014."
The course is a large loop consisting of 11 miles of canal tow path, 9 miles of trails (which are mostly derived from disused railway lines) and 6 miles on roads. Runners are treated to the picturesque village of Worsley at 9 miles, with its beautiful black & white mock Tudor buildings contrasting with the unusual orange canal water.
At mile 11 the route passes through the village of Astley where the coal mine 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. Trail shoes are highly recommended if the weather is a little unfavourable!