RAMSBOTTOM Running Club chairman Rowan Ardill has just competed a mammoth month-long challenge – and ran down every street in the town in doing so.

Ardill dubbed his challenge ‘Run the Date’ as he covered the equivalent number of kilometres as the date each day in February.

From one kilometre on the first day of the month, three-time Ironman and marathon runner Ardill completed a total of 406km – 252 miles – running with club-mates and supporters each day.

The aim of the challenge was to inspire more people to run regularly.

Ardill, who founded the running club 18 months ago and has since seen its membership rise to in excess of 160, said: "It has been quite the challenge to cover such distances – especially towards the end of the month, when I have been doing in excess of a half marathon every day and battling the abnormally cold weather too.

"The support from my club-mates, family and friends has been incredible – I very rarely found myself running alone and I was accompanied for nearly all of the 400-plus kilometres.

"I have had some brilliant conversations, chatted to so many people and really enjoyed being so active."

The idea for the challenge came about several years ago but 2018 was the first time Ardill had committed to the full month.

Regular Tuesday night club runs were incorporated into the challenge, helping to inch him closer to the ever-increasing daily total.

He added: "For me, running is always best when it is a shared activity, allowing chance to engage with other people and chat about anything and everything.

"The social elements were – still are, and always will be – at the core of why I started the club and I hope completing this challenge has helped to inspire others to get involved, or run a bit more, either with Ramsbottom Running Club or elsewhere."

Ardill has been posting regular videos of his endeavours via Facebook, along with a regular blog.

He has even featured on a popular Australian running podcast as word spread around the world.

With each run starting from the Urn at the centre of Ramsbottom before heading off in a multitude of directions throughout February, among his many routes Ardill targeted the sub-challenge of covering every single street in the town over the course of the month.

He said: "It was a nice little extra element of the month, to see if I could run down each and every road in Ramsbottom.

"I just about managed it and have been amazed at just how many there are – from cul-de-sacs and back roads to tucked away estates and quiet corners – it has been great to get to know my town more intimately."

Appropriately, the 28-day effort came to a momentous finale at the Irwell Works brewery, the exact spot where the club meets for its weekly runs.

"It was a wonderful way to bring the curtain down on a brilliant month.

"I have been so pleased to share this epic undertaking with my club-mates – and hopefully encourage a few new ones to join us, too."

You can read more about the challenge, how Rowan got on and listen to the podcast from Down Under via his blog: https://rowanardill.tumblr.com.

Ramsbottom Running Club meets every Tuesday night, with runs ranging in length and duration to suit all levels and ability.

Visit www.ramsbottomrunningclub.co.uk, or search ‘Ramsbottom Running Club’ on social media for more information.