Long March rakes in the pounds for Christian Aid

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TIRELESS walkers raised more than £8,000 for charity on Halifax’s Long March.

This year, 135 people and two dogs took part in the annual marathon-length walk in aid of Christian Aid.

They cut a 26.2-mile path around Calderdale, setting off at the Halifax YMCA at 11.30pm on Easter Sunday and marching on throughout the night.

The route took them via rest centres at St Paul’s Methodist Church, Sowerby Bridge, Southgate Methodist Church, Elland, and Central Methodist Church, Brighouse, and back to the YMCA.

A half-marathon distance route of 13.1 miles was also available.

The first walker to complete the 26.2 miles was Simon Burt, closely followed by Kathryn Drake. Both walkers arrived back at the YMCA just over 6 hours after the start of the walk. The last walkers arrived back minutes before the 10am cut off time.

Andrew Lees Wolfenden ran the half marathon in a time of 3 hours and 10 minutes, and Joshua Brennan was the first walker to complete it, in 4 hours 15 minutes

Wendy Bentley, walkers secretary, said: “Conditions for walking were not ideal with rain falling for much of the night. In spite of this, many of the walkers arrived back still smiling.

“Thank you to all the walkers and their generous sponsors, also to the many helpers who made the event possible.

“The Long March is the longest established night walk in the country and can only happen because of the people who give up their time to walk and to help on the night.

“We would love to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in helping to plan next year’s event which will be the 48th Long March.”

Anyone interested can visit the website at www.longmarch.org for more information.