UNLIKE others who will be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this weekend, Yorkshire Dales sheep farmer and businessman Mike McKenzie is donning his running kit to take part in a gruelling 145-mile charity race along the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London to raise funds for Bowel Cancer UK.

Mike, 63, of Blue Scar Farm, Arncliffe, will be accompanied by his daughter Cathy Harrison, backed by a support crew comprising his wife, Carol, another daughter Linda Marfitt and long-time friends Philip and Heather Taylor.

Mike underwent chemotherapy and surgery after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2020, recovering to complete the London Marathon for the eighth time in 2021, only to discover that the cancer has returned, requiring further surgery.

Daughter Linda said: “Now here he is back to his usual tricks undertaking crazy challenges and roping in my sister in the process!” She has set up a justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/linda-marfitt

Mike farms white-faced Texel-cross lambs and is a former chairman of Craven Cattle Marts in Skipton. He works for wireless broadband company Boundless Networks, based at Leeds Bradford Airport and founded by David Hood, which rolls out much-needed broadband facilities to the Dales and beyond.

Mike says he is looking forward to the challenge, which takes place this weekend from June 3-5, beginning at 6am Friday and must be completed within 45 hours. “I’ve been hard in training and am reasonably confident. I ran the length of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal a couple of years ago, while myself and Cathy also completed the 80-mile Dales Way run from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere.”

Bowel Cancer UK is the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity. They fund targeted research, provide expert information and support to patients and their families, educate the public and professionals about the disease and campaign for early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care. They're here to stop people dying of bowel cancer.