Do a virtual run to help Leeds road safety

Brake community fundraiser Joe Fenton, of Leeds, with colleague Lisa Kendall.

Brake community fundraiser Joe Fenton, of Leeds, with colleague Lisa Kendall.

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A Leeds fundraiser is calling on runners from the city to support a charity fun run with a difference.

Joe Fenton, of Cross Gates, is organising a ‘virtual run’ for road safety charity Brake.

The unusual event will involve people from all over the world taking part in a run throughout May, with runners being able to choose their own date, location and even distance to suit them.

The idea was inspired by a schoolboy who organised a similar event in Wiltshire last year after his best friend was killed while cycling. It resulted in 1,000 people running a combined distance of more than 5,000km to raise £20,000 for Brake. Its success has led to the national charity using the idea to raise cash this year to provide support to bereaved road crash victims and prevent more tragedies.

Joe, 24, who works with bereaved families for the charity, said: “The idea is that it is your run – which is wonderful as it means that anybody can take part – because what you do, is up to you. Every runner pays a one-off registration fee to Brake and many participants are also choosing to get sponsored for taking part. We already have people signing up from across the country, so it would be fantastic to get people from Leeds and West Yorkshire to join us in May for this unique fundraiser.”

Joe and the team at Brake have been inspired to organise the Virtual Run by family and friends of Daniel Climance, 11, who was killed last June during a family bike ride in Wiltshire. Friends wanted to do something positive to keep Daniel’s memory alive and ‘Doing it for Dan’ snowballed from there.

All money raised from Brake’s Virtual Run will go towards their life-saving work to prevent casualties and make communities safer. See www.brake.org.uk/virtualrun for more.