Ilkley businessman completes marathon charity challenge


Marathon man Simon Thomas at the finish line with Kerry Magson of the Principle Trust

A 62-year-old Ilkley businessman has raised almost £2000 for a children’s charity by walking a marathon distance route around Harrogate town centre.

Simon Thomas, who lives in Ilkley and runs Otley-based Greenholme Carpets, completed the 26-mile-long walk to raise funds for The Principle Trust Children’s Charity which provides free respite holidays for needy children across Yorkshire.

Braving the recent blistering heat, Mr. Thomas left the cenotaph on Parliament Street at 7am on Sunday 17 July, circumnavigating Harrogate town centre 13 times to clock up the marathon distance, before returning to the cenotaph a sweltering eight hours later. Supporters of the charity lent their support by joining him for sections of the route.

Over thirty independent businesses lining the two-mile-long route supported the fundraiser by encouraging customers to make donations at their premises.

Simon, 62, spent four weeks training for the event by completing 12-14-mile stretches of The Dalesway, racking up a total training distance of 135 miles, 305,000 steps and 44 hours of walking.

Mr. Thomas, who is a trustee of The Principle Trust, raised a total of £1,950 for the charity which supports families across the region. The money raised will fund holidays for four families with children who are underprivileged, disadvantaged, disabled, have life-limiting conditions, or who have experienced poverty, trauma or abuse.

Recovering from his ‘Hiking Harrogate for Holidays’ Simon commented: ‘Pounding the pavements in 30 degree was tough but it was for a great cause; every year the Trust helps hundreds of disadvantaged, disabled and poorly children to escape their everyday troubles and create valuable, happy memories. I want to thank all the Harrogate businesses who supported my fundraising challenge.’

Donations can still be made online at www.localgiving.org/fundraising/hiking-harrogate-for-holidays/