BLACKBURN Harriers and Athletics Club have completed an incredible long-distance running challenge covering an amazing total of 3,140km.

The club had originally set its members a target of a combined total run of 1,407km, the equivalent of the distance from Land's End in Cornwall to John o’Groats on the northern tip of Scotland, run in over two days.

However, Blackburn Harriers’ dedicated members far exceeded this in just 36 hours.

The run, which took place on the weekend of June 6 and 7, saw age groups ranging from under-11s to over-65s involving over 160 athletes taking part in isolation.

John Orrell, who imagined the cross-country route in his head as he ran along the River Darwen, said: “In my head we’d already covered over 800 miles and it was a blue-sky sunshiney day.

“My leg was along part of The South West Coastal Path in Cornwall and I’d just picked up the baton in Carbis Bay.

"Running along the beach and up onto the headland I dropped down into St Ives.

“It was low tide so I was able to run across Porthminster Beach, past Pedn Olva, dodge the fishing boats in the harbour, run around Smeaton’s Pier, across Porthgwidden Beach and up onto the island.”

He added: “Back in the real world, it's cool, a bit wet and windy and the only water I saw was in the River Darwen.”

John managed to run 11.1 miles in just over an hour and 45 minutes, a feat that was matched by participants across male, female and all age groups.

Blackburn Harriers had hoped that, despite the uncertainty that the pandemic situation has presented, athletes have been able to continue training in isolation.

However, the situation has meant that the club has been unable to carry out normal competitions or organise mass events with spectators in attendance.

As such, these kinds of activities have been hugely important to participants' physical and mental health, and events like the Land's End to John o’Groats challenge have helped raise the morale both of club members and the wider community.

To find out more about Blackburn Harriers, visit