THREE friends are taking part in a gruelling challenge this weekend to raise money for a cancer charity.

Richard Bailey, Iain Burgess and Filipe Peidade are taking part in a one-day ultra-marathon on Saturday, which means running 69 miles from Carlisle to Newcastle.

Although all three of them are experienced runners, it is the first time any of them have attempted anything on this scale.

They are taking part to raise money for Cancer Research UK, a charity close to the heart of Richard, 42, who is the vintner’s manager at Arkell’s brewery.

He said: “We have all done marathons but not anything like this before. I wanted the challenge of a run but to do something more extreme.

“I have been training for about six months and have run over 1,600 miles to get prepared.

“It’s going to be very tough but we will all be running together and encouraging each other all the way.

“The average time it takes to complete is between 16 and 20 hours so we are hopeful of doing it in that time, ideally towards the lower end.

“I have familial adenomatous polyposis, a hereditary form of cancer which I have to have checked every year and have had surgery for. I want to do this to raise money for the people who have helped me.”

All three men met each other while working at the Stanton Hotel, where Iain, 45, is still the manager.

“When Richard first approached me to do this I just asked ‘are you mad?’” said Iain.

“Now we’re all really looking forward to it. It’s hard to say how we’ll do but we are all very confident. We have done plenty of training so are all ready to go.

“The weather will obviously be an important factor so we don’t really want it to be as hot as it has been as we can’t have any outside help and have to carry everything ourselves.”

Personal trainer Filipe, 31, took up running mainly for the health benefits but has been inspired to take part in the ultra-marathon by Richard.

He said: “Since I started taking up running I lost a lot of weight and now have a much healthier lifestyle.”

“When Richard approached me I said ‘yes’.

“It is my thinking that if he can do this after everything he has been through then there is no reason why I can’t.”

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