News article created on 9 May 2019

Take part in the Charity Canal Challenge in Leeds this summer

We are launching an exciting new challenge for all ages to enjoy this summer in partnership with hospital charity Leeds Cares.

Charity Canal Challenge launch

The Charity Canal Challenge was launched 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
  • 4 miles

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.or the ultimate challenge try the ‘Epic Track’.  This 29-mile route from Skipton to Leeds begins early in the morning and offers the chance to enjoy stunning scenery and pass one of the most iconic structures on Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Bingley Five Rise Locks.

The ‘Middle Track’ is 14-mile route that starts from UNESCO World Heritage site Saltaire.  It’s the perfect option for those looking to try out a middle-distance run or day-out stroll. 

For the littlest legs, strollers and wheelchairs, the 4-mile ‘Family Track’ is the most accessible route.  Starting from Kirkstall Forge train station it’s just a short walk onto the canal.  A Challenge Pack for under 12s will be available full of activities to enjoy along the way.

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.

Our volunteers and marshals along the route will be on hand with fun facts and figures about one of the oldest and longest canals in in Britain. Leeds Cares will be coordinating and supporting participants on the day and encouraging challengers to fundraise as much as they can to benefit Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

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.

Registration for the new event is now open with family tickets priced at just £22.  All participants will be encouraged to fundraise for Leeds Cares, helping to raise as much as possible to support the work of our hospitals right here in Yorkshire.

Book your place.