Leeds mum boosts children's cancer charity Candlelighters by recruiting an army of runners for Captain Tom 100 challenge

A keen runner from Leeds managed to assemble a team over 100 family members, friends and strangers to walk or run this weekend in aid of Leeds children’s cancer charity Candlelighters.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 6:00 am
Stacy Procter has recruited more than 100 friends and family to each walk a mile this weekend as part of the Captain Tom challenge, in aid of Candlelighters Picture: Tony Johnson

Stacy Procter, 46, of Wortley, who has been a volunteer at the charity for over four years, decided to raise funds this weekend as part of the Captain Tom 100 challenge, set up by the family of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore

The family have rallied the country to take on a fundraising challenge relating to the number 100, for a charity of their choice, over the bank holiday, which would have been the veteran’s 101st birthday.

Taking it one step further, Stacy came up with a ‘two in one’ challenge - firstly setting herself the target of finding 100 people who would run or walk at least one mile this weekend for Candlelighters and secondly running a total of 202 miles herself throughout May, to total what would have been twice Captain Tom’s age.

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Joining Stacy on day one of the challenge are: Amanda McLean, Lily Procter and Katy Ward, 13. Picture: Tony Johnson

And her first challenge has been well and truly smashed this weekend - with 148 people pledging their support over the four days after she posted her request on social media.

By Monday, Stacy’s fundraising target of £250 had already been surpassed and was last night totalling £372.

Stacy said: “It went absolutely crazy. People have been amazing. What I’m so proud of is people have set their own challenges - some people have walked a mile, some people have walked one mile every day or four miles every day. Some people have met people they haven’t seen for a long time for a socially-distanced walk. It’s just gone crazy, I’m so proud of everybody, honestly.”

The mum-of-two only took up running two years ago, after being inspired by watching runners at the Yorkshire Marathon in 2018, when she was volunteering at the event for Candlelighters.

After only joining local running club Bramley Breezers in January 2019, she went on to run the Leeds 10K, Great North Run and Yorkshire Marathon later that same year.

Her plan to reach the 202-mile target this month includes running half marathon distances on Saturdays, with 10-mile runs on Mondays and Thursdays and shorter distances on remaining days - with the hope of a rest day in week three.

On day one of the challenge, Stacy was accompanied by her goddaughter Katy Ward, 13, who has cerebral palsy and completed her own one-mile walk at Temple Newsam.

Stacy said: “She’s really my big supporter and she really struggles [to walk] - we never thought she would walk [but] she does, with difficulty and with a frame, but every race I do she comes if she possibly can.

“This walk was so hard for her. She was so tired but she would not give in.

“For me it’s people like Katy who have turned out - they are the people that inspire me. If all those people can do that this weekend, I can’t let anyone down in running those 202 miles.”

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