We knew a Colne Valley running club had pure Yorkshire grit … but they’ve taken it to new heights this weekend to help a charity.

For Slaithwaite Striders are doing a 72-hour non-stop relay run to raise money for Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team.

They aimed to raise £1,000 but have already reached £1,500 and every penny is vital for the rescue team to keep the cash coming in.

The relay began on Thursday at 7pm in the centre of Slaithwaite and has seen runners in their trademark Slaithwaite Striders green vests running around the village with a relay baton for 72 hours.

The team drew up a list of 72 hourly slots and then club members put their names down for each hour to do the run.

All are doing the same circuit which starts from the parking circle in the centre of the village, along New Street to Slaithwaite fire station, on to Crimble and then up to Hill Top to Slaithwaite reservoir, around Blakestones and down by Rotcher to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath and back to the parking circle.

More than 50 members of Slaithwaite Striders relay team ready to set off on the 72 hour relay marathon

The route is 1.7 miles long with several runners managing three circuits during their hour-long stint but runners could do it at their own pace so long as the baton kept moving. The fastest so far is Aiden Ryan who managed five laps, averaging 8.5 miles an hour.

One runner, Katie Curtis, was ill and unable to do her run at 8am today (Sunday, April 2) but her partner, Jason Neave, drove over from Barnsley to do it for her.

At 2am today Chris Standish drove from Northowram in Calderdale to do the run until 3am – probably the least popular time for anyone.

Club runner Michelle Smith, wife of Andy Smith who set the club up in 2018, said: “As runners we are often out and about on the moors and other isolated spots so know only too well how important it is the area has a great mountain rescue team and we are so lucky to have Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team here in our area.

“The Slaithwaite Striders have really embraced this challenge and it’s been a magnificent team effort.”

The entire club ran the first hour at 7pm on Thursday and they will all be doing the final hour which starts at 6pm today.

Scroll the gallery of images below

Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team, like all mountain rescue teams, is a charity supported by donations and receives no direct funding from the government.

It’s based in Marsden and the team’s unpaid volunteers are on call anytime, day or night all year round.

They can be called to:

  • Carry out search and rescue operations for people hurt or lost on the moors;
  • Search for vulnerable missing people in rural and urban locations;
  • Extricate casualties from places which are difficult to access across West Yorkshire;
  • Provide assistance in severe weather conditions;
  • Offer safety cover for outdoor events.

To support the runners people can drop change into a bucket or use this link to donate online for the next two weeks https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8SAcDANJU6

Slaithwaite Striders runners are unmissable as they wear green vests with the club logo on them.

The club meets at 7pm every Thursday evening at Slaithwaite Cricket Club on Racton Street in Slaithwaite.

The club, which has previously raised £3,000 for NHS charities, has a slogan that people can go from couch potato to 5k … and will be with them every step of the way. No runner is ever left behind and someone will always stay with them.

There are three sections so anyone from new starters up to experienced runners can take part.

They are:

Steady: Suitable for beginners who want to go at a nice, steady pace with some breaks. The runs are on flatter terrain, the speed is around 12 minutes a mile and they last about an hour.

Swift: Ideal for intermediate runners, includes all terrains, the pace is around 10 minutes a mile and the runs usually last one hour and 15 minutes.

Speedy: This is for experienced runners who can handle an eight minute per mile pace and includes hilly terrain on road, trail and fells. The runs usually last around 90 minutes.

It only costs £30 a year to join the club which is a member of the Association of Running Clubs and the fee includes insurance, discounts on kit and races and access to the club’s website and club chat.

To find out more and to apply to join Slaithwaite Striders go to https://www.slaithwaitestriders.com/ 

  • Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.