A MAN has challenged himself to run through each council ward in the town he lives in to raise money for a hospice.

Andy Heslop, from Darlington, will be running for those affected by cancer and other terminal illnesses as he passes through all 17 wards in the town centre in one day.

Mr Heslop said he came up with the idea while on a run with his wife, Klaudia, who will join him in the challenge.

He said: "While I was running I got thinking about whether it was possible to run every single road in Darlington but, after talking about it with friends, decided it was a bit impractical and would take a long time to do.

"I ended up mapping a 15-mile route through the town which will at some point cover each ward in the town.

“There is about ten people doing first five miles with me, and then three or four others will do the full 15 miles so I won't be doing the route alone."

The 49-year-old will be raising money for the Darlington charity St Teresa's Hospice, which provides palliative care to people in the area, and said he chose the hospice in memory of his mother, who lost a battle to cancer aged 50.

As he too celebrates his 50th birthday this weekend, Mr Heslop said he is running for friends, family and all those living in the town who have been affected by a terminal illness.

He said: "I have friends my age who have been diagnosed recently and I have friends who work or fundraise for St Teresa's.

"That sort of charity is vital to the town with the work they do and that was the whole point of reaching every ward.

"It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live in the 17 wards, the chances are someone on every road we do will have been affected by cancer in some way.

"The goal of this is to continue to raise awareness and raise funds for a charity local to Darlington."

Setting off at 10am on October 20, Mr Heslop and those running with him will set off from Stanhope Park, in the College ward, and will pass through Hummersknott, Mowden, Pierremont and Cockerton where they will mark the end of the five-mile route.

Those running the full 15 miles will the continue through the Faverdale ward to North Road and Harrogate Hill, through Haughton and Whinfield.

The group will then head south, passing through Albert Hill and Red Hall towards Eastbourne, before heading east towards South Park through Banktop, and running along the Park East and West wards before finishing at the starting point of Stanhope Park.