Runners and walkers are up to the challenge

Runners and walkers were certainly up for the challenge as the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was celebrated.

Monday, 9th May 2016, 7:00 pm
Edward Lee on the track

The challenge was to cover 254.5 miles at Seedhill Athletics Track, double the distance of the canal.

And, thanks to some amazing efforts, the challenge was met with hours to spare.

People were invited to go along and run or walk as many laps as they wanted to with those completing at least 10 receiving goody bags.

Anna and Beverely Birtwistle with Edward Lee

A total of 1,025 laps was needed to cover the distance.

And in the end well over 1,200 were run or walked, most of them in the Bank Holiday weekend sunshine.

Chris Emmerson led the way with 60 laps and earned the special prize – dinner bed and breakfast at the Rendezvous Hotel in Skipton – while Graham Denney and Andrew Chamberlain both ran 53 laps to clock up a half-marathons and Andy Devanney walked the same distance.

Spot prizes, sponsored by Virgin Business Media, went to Sean Haydock for being the first man to complete 25 laps, Janette Holden for being the first lady to cover the same distance and Kimberley Hall for being the runner who completed the lap which saw the challenge met.

Anna and Beverely Birtwistle with Edward Lee

Other notable performances on the day included Alan Stuart who completed 41 laps on his 62nd birthday and the efforts of at least three octogenarians who clocked up many laps between them.

All runners and walkers received goody bags donated by United Utilities Water and Tesco in Burnley and along with them, I would also like to thank Pendle Leisure Trust for allowing us to use the track.

It was all part of my Ed’s 2016 Challenge during which I am raising money for Petal Childhood Cancer Research and Pendleside Hospice.

The overall challenge is to run and walk a total of 2,600km in the year and the 60 laps I clocked up on Saturday took me beyond 1,000km.

There are several other challenges included in the overall challenge, but this was an important one as it gave other people the chance to join in.

It also helped raise a substantial sum for the overall fund-raising total, donations to which can be made here.

• Inspired by Graham Denney’s excellent 2015 challenge in which he attempted to run or walk 2015km in 2015, I decided to pick up the fund-raising baton and try to raise some money myself, by attempting 2,600km.

I raise money each year for Pendleside Hospice, but this year also decided to raise some for Petal Childhood Cancer Research who raise money on behalf of Cancer Research UK to support research into cancer treatments for children and young people.

Find out more about Petal by more information about the hospice is available at