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

Stacy Procter recruited more than 100 friends and family this weekend to run a mile each as part of the Captain Tom challenge, in aid of Candlelighters Photo: Tony Johnson

Stacy Procter, 46, from Wortley, who has volunteered with the charity for over four years, decided to raise money this weekend as part of the Captain Tom 100 challenge, set up by the family of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore.

The family has rallied the land to start a fundraising campaign for the number 100, for a charity of their choice, during the official holiday, which would have been the veteran’s 101st birthday.

Stacy took it a step further and came up with a ‘two-in-one’ challenge – first, setting himself the goal of finding 100 people who would run or walk at least a mile for Candlelighters this weekend and second, a total of 202 miles himself to run. May, to a total of what would have been twice Captain Tom’s age.

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

And her first challenge has really been crushed this weekend – with 148 people pledging their support during the four days after she posted her request on social media.

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

Stacy said, “It was going crazy. People were great. What I’m so proud of is that people have set their own challenges – some people have walked a mile, some people have walked a mile or four miles every day. Some people have met people they haven’t seen for a long time for a socially distant walk. It’s just gone crazy, I’m honestly so proud of everyone. “

The mother of two only started running two years ago, after being inspired by watching runners at the Yorkshire Marathon in 2018, when she volunteered at the event for Candlelighters.

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

Her plan to hit the 202-mile goal this month includes running half-marathon distances on Saturday, with 10-mile runs on Monday and Thursday, and shorter distances on the remaining days – with the hope of a rest day in week three.

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

Stacy said, “She’s really my big supporter and she’s really struggling [to walk] – we never thought she would walk [but] she does it, with effort and with a frame, but every race I do she comes whenever she can.

‘This walk was so difficult for her. She was so tired, but she wouldn’t give in.

“For me, it’s people like Katy who came out – they’re the people who inspire me. If all those people can do that this weekend, I can’t disappoint anyone running those 202 miles. “

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