WATCH: World Coal Carrying Championship takes place in Yorkshire

Have your say

Thousands of people have gathered today to watch the World Coal Carrying Championships in Gawthorpe.

The Easter event was run for the 54th time, with men carrying 50kg sacks and women carrying 20kg of coal up the traditional 1,012m course from the Royal Oak pub to the maypole on the village green.

The World Coal Carrying Championships (Photo: SWNS)

The World Coal Carrying Championships (Photo: SWNS)

One contestant, 19-year-old Gabrielle Oldroyd, had a kidney transplant nine years ago and said that running with the up a one-kilometre hill is the craziest thing she has ever done.

Ms Oldroyd said: "I'm shattered. It's huge. To say I had a kidney transplant in 2008, to come and do this is probably the craziest thing I've ever done.

"But I'm so glad I've done it.

"To anyone out there with any health issues or anything, it just proves it can be done if you put your mind to it and I've proved that today."

World Coal Carrying Championship (Photo: SWNS)

World Coal Carrying Championship (Photo: SWNS)

She added: "I was determined to finish it and have a go. Today I just knew that I was going to give all I've got and that's what I've done."

The event is organised by the Gawthorpe Maypole committee group and sponsored by Eric F Box Funeral Directors.

It is said to gave started after an argument in the Beehive Inn between coal merchant Reggie Sedgewick and Maypole Committee president Amos Clapham over who was fittest.

The current male world record is 4 minutes and 6 seconds, held by David Jones of Meltham. The current female record holder for the women's race is Catherine Fenton with a time of 4 minutes 25 seconds.

World Coal Carrying Championship (Photo: SWNS)

World Coal Carrying Championship (Photo: SWNS)

Organiser Duncan Smith, of the Gawthorpe Maypole committee, said: “It’s been a brilliant day, a wonderful community day.”

He said that 210 people took part across all the adult races, with 90 in the main men's race, 60 women and 60 veterans.

Contestants from as far as the USA, New Zealand and Norway took part.

The overall mens race winner was Andrew Corrigan at four minutes, 31 seconds; Jenni Mustan won the womens’ race at four minutes 30 seconds; and the veteran race champ was Damian Cameron at five minutes, 14 seconds.


Men's race

1st - Andrew Corrigan - 4m, 31s

2nd - Daniel Wright - 4m, 33s

3rd - Steven Thackery, 4m, 40s

Women's race

1st - Jenni Mustan - 4m, 30s

2nd - Lindsay Heppenstall - 4m, 41s

3rd - Danielle Sidebottom - 4m, 51s

Veteran's race

1st - Damian Cameron - 5m, 14s

Joint 2nd - Tony Gardner and John Hunter - 5m, 24s