Gruelling challenge for ‘inspiring’ mum

The Team Ellis Challenge team has raised more than �10k. (S)

The Team Ellis Challenge team has raised more than �10k. (S)

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The family of a tireless cancer research campaigner from Ripon has completed a gruelling 50 mile run to raise more than £10,000 in her memory.

The late Kathy Ellis’s four daughters, nine grandchildren, close friends and a team from The Forge Farm Shop in Ripon came together to complete an undulating route through the Yorkshire Dales on June 22.

Kathy’s second youngest daughter Sarah Newby, 47 – who completed 32 miles of the Ripon Rowel walking route, which runs through Fountains Abbey and Markenfield Hall – said the event “touched the heart strings with a lot of local people because everyone knew mum”.

Sarah told the Gazette: “This is the biggest compliment we could pay for mum. It was a lovely, lovely day, and although the weather wasn’t great, for some reason the sun followed us wherever we went, as if mum was watching over us. And as if in tribute to her, a rainbow came out in the last 100m.”

Sarah joined her three sisters Ginny, 51, Lynda, 49, and Penny, 45, to complete the challenge and persuade local businesses to get on board.

“Mum made it her business to raise as much money as she could for cancer research by doing things like going around local businesses asking them to sponsor the cause – so we did the same. We were very lucky to have raised as much money as we did. Everyone has been very generous, including Penny and Lynda’s clients who have helped out with the fundraising.”

And although the route is normally completed over two days, the intrepid Team Ellis decided to tackle the course in just one day – and the running squad managed to finish the trail in 11 hours and 25 minutes. “We wanted to give ourselves a proper challenge,” said Sarah.

In total, the team managed to raise £10,372 for Yorkshire Cancer Research – including £2,010 raised at an event held on June 12, when an open garden went on show in Littlethorpe in recognition of Kathy’s love for gardening and flower arranging.

“She was a brave and inspiring woman, I think that’s what kept us going,” added Sarah.