October 1, 2023

Sir Titus Trot Autumnal Trail

Sir Titus Salt, a nineteenth century Dan Ashcroft reports:

Sir Titus Salt, a nineteenth century manufacturer, politician and philanthropist accomplished many things in his lifetime; Chief Constable and Senior Alderman in Bradford, before opening Saltaire Mills with houses, a church and hospital to follow. He must have been an all round top bloke. However, probably one of his greatest legacies must be giving his name to many things in the Yorkshire town of Saltaire, including the Sir Titus Trot Trail races.

The races, organised by It’s Grim up North Running, took place on Saturday 30 September 2023. A complete set of race distances are available, from 5k to ultra and the cool autumnal day meant perfect conditions for running. All races start, finish and follow the Leeds and Liverpool canal and therefore are almost entirely flat, apart from the odd lock scattered here and there, as well as a diversion where the towpath is currently closed.

Two MACs took part in the races with Dennis Belbin taking on the 20 mile race and Dan Ashcroft having a go at the marathon. Dan set off half an hour before Dennis to cover the additional 6.2 miles out and back section needed to complete the marathon. Once this part of the marathon has been completed, the 20 mile course was followed, along the canal past Bingley and Keighley before the turning point at Steeton and Silsden.

It was a fairly congested morning on the towpath with plenty of dogs and cyclists to contend with. In addition, the Jordan Sinnott Foundation Trust had organised a 15 mile sponsored walk from Saltaire to Skipton. Jordan was a Matlock Town footballer who passed away aged 25 in 2020.

About 1 mile before the turning point in the 20 mile race, the canal path turns into a single track of uneven compacted mud path for a bit of excitement. Results have yet to be published but both Matlock runners appear to have earned top ten finishes.

Following the race, the Matlock runners paid homage to another Victorian local politician and philanthropist, Sir Norman Rae. Glasses were raised in the pub, in nearby Shipley, to which he gave his name.