A DALES sheep farmer and businessman who has twice battled cancer has triumphed in his remarkable feat of running 145 miles along the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London.

Mike McKenzie, 63, of Blue Scar Farm, in Arncliffe, took part in the charity race during jubilee weekend, June 3 to 5, to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK with help from his backing team: daughter Cathy Harrison, wife, Carol, another daughter Linda Marfitt and long-time friends Philip and Heather Taylor.

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.

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.

He said: "Taking part in the Grand Union Canal race has been an idea for a few years. Getting on the start line was delayed by 18 months of treatment for bowel and secondary liver cancer. Friends and family supported me through that time also supported me through the race which was brilliant and I thank them for that.

"There is a lot of thinking time while you run 145 miles and getting updates that so many people were prepared to donate to a great cause really helped me carry on. So thanks to everyone who has donated."

The race had to be completed within 45 hours and Cathy put in an absolutely heroic effort but sadly had to retire at 85 miles during the night. Out of 98 runners that started only 53 made it to the end. Mike battled on and was thrilled to make it to the finish line in 39:22 hours and finishing 26th.

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.

So far his efforts have raised over £4,000 with money still coming in. He's now looking at other events to enter.

If you wish to sponsor him for his Grand Union Canal run you can do so at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/linda-marfitt