Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships 2024: Best photos from the coal racing event in Yorkshire

The Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships returns to Yorkshire for its 61st anniversary - here are some of the highlights.

The World Coal Carrying Championships has been held in Gawthorpe since 1963 and started off as a bet between a farmer and a miner in a local pub.

It has been extended to include men’s, women’s and veterans’ races, with a female over-40s category contested for the first time in 2023.

The Gawthorpe Maypole Committee organises the event every Easter Monday and it is a nod to Wakefield’s mining heritage, two men who survived the Lofthouse Colliery disaster in 1973 were invited to give out prizes.

The event involves men carrying a 50kg sack of coal on their backs and women must carry 20kg across a 1,000-metre distance. The race is timed by using an original pigeon racing clock and volunteers’ stopwatches.

For those participants who break the standing course record for their gender group take away £1,000.

Here are the best photos from this year’s event.

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