DOZENS of Prestwich athletes ran the length of the country this weekend ­— all without leaving Greater Manchester.

Members of Prestwich Athletic Club took part in a 24-hour continuous relay, from 12pm on Saturday through to 12pm on Sunday, to support to homeless and vulnerable people in the town.

The charity challenge saw runners clock up a distance equal to running from the North West to Kent, and raised £2,060 for Prestwich Street Kitchen.

Michael Connaughton, committee member of Prestwich AC, said the event had gone very well, adding: "It has been a tremendous success in terms of participation and the money we have raised for Prestwich Street Kitchen.

"The enthusiasm of our runners was humbling. The amount of runners that volunteered to run at night or very early morning, slots we believed would be hard to fill, was astounding.”

A total of 41 club members took part in the relay and ran some 255 miles ­— just over the equivalent of running from Prestwich to Dover.

The relay was split into one-hour segments which were each taken on by an individual runner or team of two.

No routes or a minimum distance were set, and it was only demanded that runners started 'dot on the hour', run for the full hour and post a selfie on completion.

Runners' routes took all manner of directions as they battled the wind and rain which battered the region during Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.

One team, Matt and Ciara Brennan, even took the 'brave decision' to venture into Manchester city centre as bars and clubs were closing, between 2am and 3am.

Mr Connaughton said: “The Covid-19 lockdown has been tough for running clubs.

"Although the primary reason for running is getting/keeping fit the social side should not be downplayed.

"We’re all friends and not seeing each other for our twice weekly runs has been difficult.

"In order to keep a sense of togetherness and cohesion at Prestwich AC we have come up with small virtual challenges to keep everybody engaged.

"As things went on we wanted to do something bigger but also for a local good cause. That’s basically where the 24-hour relay run came from."

The charity relay came as Prestwich Street Kitchen is back up and running at the Methodist Church car park on Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays at 6.30pm.