Fitness experts and staff from Stockport-based Life Leisure got their kit on to raise over £1,500 – with more still coming in – for the We Love Manchester Fund for victims of the arena terror attack.
A team of ten from the not-for-profit social enterprise travelled to Cumbria to tackle Man vs Lakes, a 26.2-mile marathon that includes a run across the quick sands of Morecombe Bay, through water and up mountains all the way to Windermere.
Danny Drayson, senior fitness instructor at Life Leisure’s Grand Central, said: “This was the toughest, most physically and mentally challenging thing I have ever done.
“But it has also been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Some amazing people have helped me get to a point where I could take part in something like this, and then helped me round.
“I feel so lucky and also happy that I’ve helped raise money that will be going to such a great cause.”
Meanwhile back in Stockport, Life Leisure staff and local class instructors held a fitness festival at Woodbank Memorial Park.
Hundreds of local people of all ages and fitness levels turned out to take part in activities including a 5km run/walk, Les Mills Body Combat, KETTFusion, zumba, and various kids’ sports games.
Life Leisure’s communities and group exercise manager Ruth Lynch masterminded the event.
She said: “I was determined to put on something for everyone. The day was about bringing the local community together and showing that exercise – especially group exercise – is fun.
“The day had a special feel to it. We were there for a worthy cause, and there was no pressure to take part in the sessions.
“We just wanted people to have a go. As it turned out, we had quite a few older ladies attempting a 5K for the first time. They walked it, but next time they might run it.”
Malcolm McPhail, CEO of Life Leisure, said: “I am so proud of our staff. They put their all into work during the week, and then give up their precious weekend to volunteer for a good cause like this. Both teams not only showed off the incredible benefits of community exercise, they also raised an amazing sum of money for the Fund.”