Eight runners who had been training for the New York City Marathon, which was cancelled in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, have found a route closer to home.
Rather than run through the five boroughs of New York criss-crossing bridges along the East River and ending in Central Park, the group will now start in New York Village in North Yorkshire, near to Summerbridge.
It means they will instead cross the River Nidd and rather than run along avenues dotted with skyscrapers they take on a rural route and come to a make-shift finish line at St Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate.
The friends were determined to complete a 26.2-mile run in aid of the hospice after being sponsored more than £30,000 for the Big Apple run.
Runner Patrick Dunlop said: “We completely understand why the New York Marathon was unable to take place in 2012 and thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.
“However completing this alternative challenge is important to us because it gives us the opportunity to fulfil our promise to the many people across the Harrogate district who sponsored us to finish the race, thus enabling the money we have raised to be put to good use supporting patient care at St Michael’s.
“This is how the idea of an alternative was born, and with New York in our patch the idea came together quickly.”
The New York City Marathon had been due to take place on November 4, but the city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg cancelled the marathon amid fears it would detract from the clean-up efforts ongoing in the city after superstorm Sandy battered the East Coast of the US on October 29.
The Yorkshire runners are hoping people will still line the route, cheering them on and offering refreshments at different points alongside their route.
Businesses and individuals are also encouraged to sponsor the team, or mile markers along the route, by calling 01423 879687.
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/paddy dnyc.
The run takes place on Sunday, December 2.