On their marks for coal race

Mens winner Matthew Wainwright and three times womens winner Catherine Foley.
Mens winner Matthew Wainwright and three times womens winner Catherine Foley.
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RUNNERS will put their strength and endurance to the test in Gawthorpe’s world-famous coal race on Monday.

The long-standing tradition involves athletes of all ages and abilities racing just under a mile, from the Royal Oak pub on Owl Lane to the village maypole, with sacks of coal on their backs.

Male entrants carry sacks of 50kg, while women carry 25kg sacks, and winners get a cash prize and their names in the event’s history books.

The family event will also feature 100m children’s races with small sacks of sand for several age categries.

Matthew Wainwright took last year’s men’s crown in four minutes 28 seconds, while Catherine Foley set a new women’s record, finishing in four minutes 25 seconds.

The men’s record is four minutes and five seconds.

Children can register on the day from 9am on the village green.

Susan Walshaw, treasurer of Gawthorpe’s Maypole Committee, said the race was set to be bigger than ever as there would be several mens races.

She said: “This is always a great event for families.

“It is good to see that more women have signed up this year as we have not had enough in previous years.”

Children’s races will start at 11am, womens from 12noon and the men’s race will get going at 12.30pm.

For more information, visit www.gawthorpemaypole.org.uk