Boghopper Challenge

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THE first thing most people would do after a gruelling 17k bike ride would be to collapse in a heap.

But not those who took part in the Birkenshaw Boghopper Challenge — for as soon as they’d completed their off-road trek, they swapped their cycling shoes for trainers and set off on a 5k run.

Matt McMillan, who organised it with his neighbour Jim Margetts, said the Boghopper Challenge had so far raised almost £450, double the amount raised during last year’s inaugural event.

“Last year six people took part and raised £250 for Sport Relief,” he said.

“The goal is to do it every year, but for it to grow each time. This year we doubled the amount of participants, and doubled the amount of sponsorship. It would be fantastic to think we could keep doubling it each year.

“It was one of those ideas which began in the pub, and then took on a life of its own. We wanted to put Birkenshaw on the map, do something fun, get a bit of community spirit going and raise money for charity at the same time.”

The cycle race, on mountain bikes, took the riders from Birkenshaw to Tong, Pudsey, Fulneck and then back through East Bierley.

With barely time to catch their breath they then began the 5k run taking them through Birkenshaw, East Bierley and Tong Moor.

“Thankfully it wasn’t quite as ‘boggy’ as last year’s Challenge but it was still tough,” said Matt.

“The winning time was one hour and 25 minutes by Jim Margetts, and the last one in was one hour and 45 minutes, which is still very respectable.

“We were all absolutely shattered at the end, but it was well worth it. As well as those taking part there were lots of other people involved and it really did bring out some community spirit.”

Afterwards they all retired to the local pub for a well earned drink.

Money raised this year is for Age Concern — to contribute visit www.justgiving.com/boghopper2011.