Friends take part in charity Christmas skateboard event

Craven Herald: Michael Laidler and Johnny Phillips with fellow skater Shajeem Habeeb Rahman, taking part in the London Santa Cruise event Michael Laidler and Johnny Phillips with fellow skater Shajeem Habeeb Rahman, taking part in the London Santa Cruise event

A pair of friends raised more than £300 for a good cause by taking part in a Christmas-themed 25-mile skateboard across London.

Johnny Phillips, 30, from Steeton and 21-year-old Michael Laidler, from Silsden, completed the five-hour Santa Cruise, in aid of the charity Children’s Heart Federation.

Their course took them from Hyde Park Corner to Windsor Castle.

The occasion was organised by a group called Longboarding for Little Hearts, and was created by the father of a girl who was born with a serious heart condition.

Mr Phillips said more than 40 skateboarders took part, raising a combined sum of more than £3,000.

“It was easier than we’d expected,” he said. “I didn’t realise how flat it was going to be – skateboarding 20 miles to Leeds is harder than 25 miles in London!

“I was surprised at how well organised it all was – there were people on rollerblades going ahead to clear the junctions.

“We were both in costume – I was dressed as a Christmas tree and Mike was wearing a Rudolph the Reindeer onesie.

“The weather was perfect. It was a nice, crisp, overcast day which is what you want for skating, and the pavements were dry.”

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