Which path will you take on the canal this summer?

The Charity Canal Challenge was launched today on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, in picturesque Saltaire, by Leeds Cares Fundraising Director Kevin Gerrie and Canal & River Trust Regional Director for Yorkshire & NE Sean McGinley with the help of a giant otter and some oversize running shoes.

The event will take place this summer on Sunday 14th July to raise valuable funds to support Leeds Teaching Hospitals.  Participants can choose to either run or walk along three routes: 29 miles, 14 miles or 4 miles. For information on the three tracks and to sign up, click here.

Looked after by the Canal & River Trust, the 200-year old Leeds & Liverpool Canal offers a predominantly flat and level towpath, making it an accessible setting for a challenge for all to enjoy. From a fun family stroll to full day’s trek, people of all ages and abilities from across Yorkshire are invited to take part.

All three routes will finish at Granary Wharf in Leeds city centre, where Charity Canal Challenge finishers can enjoy a well-earned rest, with food, drinks and entertainment.

Leeds Cares Director of Fundraising Kevin Gerrie said the partnership with Canal & River Trust made perfect sense: “At Leeds Cares we’re all about supporting our hospitals and the fantastic work they do but we also focus on health and wellbeing and helping people live healthy, active lives. The Canal & River Trust also do amazing work, encouraging people to get out on the canals and see our beautiful waterways with friends and family.  The Charity Canal Challenge will be a great family day out for everyone who wants to get involved. As a hospital charity, we’re keen to ensure the event suitable for everyone, so even if four miles is a real challenge for you, you can still take part and have fun on the day.”  

Canal & River Trust Regional Director Sean McGinley said: “Our charity strives to enable as many people to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of life by water, whether that’s running, walking, cycling along the towpath or getting afloat by boat or canoe on the water.  We’re really excited to be launching this initiative and partnering with Leeds Cares on the Charity Canal Challenge. It promises to be a fantastic event that I hope people will join in with and come along to support.”  

Local rail company Northern Rail is supporting the event with half price rail travel via their app, allowing participants to take the train one way, either before or after the event.

For more information about Canal & River Trust and to download a free guide to the waterways on your doorstep visit: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/local-to-you