Competitors prepare for gruelling coal carrying

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Record number of competitors will soon be limbering up for the annual World Coal Carrying Championships this month.

More than 200 people are expected to lug a sack of coal along the uphill course in Gawthorpe to be crowned this year’s champion.

The traditional race, which has been going for 54 years and is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records, will be held on Easter Monday, April 17.

The winner of the men’s race will take home £1,000, with the women’s race winner picking up £625.

And for this year’s race there will be more heats with the first race beginning at 11.30am, starting at the Royal Oak pub on Owl Lane, Ossett and finishing at the village green in Gawthorpe, 1,108 yards away.

The men’s record is four minutes and six seconds, with the women’s set at four minutes and 25 seconds.

Children’s fun races will begin at 10.30am.