Cousins raise more than £1,000 for cancer charity with 125-mile Manchester to Sunderland run

Kind-hearted cousins completed a gruelling six-day run taking in more than 125 miles to raise cash for a worthwhile charity.

By David Allison
Monday, 15 April, 2019, 06:00
Steve Burn (left) and Mark Howells arrive at Silksworth in Sunderland after running from Rochdale in Greater Manchester.

Steve Burn, 57, and Mark Howells, ran the distance from Heywood, in Greater Manchester, to Sunderland in a bid to generate money for Cancer Research UK.

Putting themselves to the limit has paid off for the pair, with more than £1,000 raised for the organisation.

Steve Burn (left) and Mark Howells on their run from Rochdale to Sunderland.

“We did an average of 20 miles a day and from my point of view it was very painful,” said dad-of-four Steve, who lives in Croydon in south London.

“But it’s been a great experience and we met some very interesting people along the way, staying in B&Bs some nights and with friends and family on others.

“We went through Colne, across the Yorkshire Dales, then Kettlewell, Leyburn in North Yorkshire, then Piercebridge and Brandon in County Durham before getting to Sunderland.

“We wanted to raise money for Cancer Research because it seems like everybody has been affected by it at some point whether it’s to themselves or someone in their family.

“My employer has said they will double what has been raised so we should be getting in more than £2,000 now.”

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Mark’s dad Dennis left Sunderland in the late 1950s to move to Manchester.

Dennis’s remaining siblings stayed in the Sunderland area.

“The family is sort of split in terms of where we live so we thought it would be a good idea to the do the run from the Manchester area to Sunderland,” added Steve, whose mum, Wearside community champion Pat Burn, died in 2013.

“I was totally out of condition so I was definitely struggling by the end of it.
“But we had family waiting for us at the finish line and enjoyed a great get together afterwards.

“A lot of us in the family moved away from Sunderland years ago but we still think of it as our spiritual home.

“These are our roots.”

Those wanting to donate to Steve and Mark’s appeal should search for Steven’s Madness Run on the Just Giving website.