A BAILDON man is on his way to completing a mammoth year-long charity challenge.

At the start of 2021, Tobias Rawcliffe, 25, set out to run 2,021 miles over the next 12 months to raise important funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), after his girlfriend Claire's uncle Phil Stephenson passed away from the disease at the young age of 47 in 2019.

Tobias and the family have been doing several fundraisers for MNDA since Phil was diagnosed in 2017.

For this particular challenge, Tobias has already ran over 1,350 miles in various locations alone and with friends on occasions.

The average works out at five and half miles a day but he regularly prefers to tackle double that in the form of half marathons so he can take the next day off.

He has already completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks and is prepping for the Madrid and Manchester marathons in the coming weeks.

Speaking about how the challenge first came about, Tobias said: "We have done loads of fundraising for MNDA over the years, things like me shaving my hair and a group of us did the Great North Run.

"During lockdown last year, me and my mates were staying active and set up a bigger challenge than maybe I should have done.

"I have done around 1,350 miles so far, so I am bang on track for where I need to be.

"It works out at five and a half miles a day but I might do like a half marathon one day then take the next day off.

"I have exhausted all of the routes near my house. If we ever go visit somewhere for the weekend, I like to get out and do some miles there. I try do it with friends when I can."

Phil was a Keighley Cougars legend, his appearance record (343) was only broken last month by another stalwart in James Feather.

It was in the same game, a win over West Wales Raiders, that Phil’s nephew Alix made his debut after recovering from a broken leg in pre-season. A third generation of the family to represent the club.

Phil's story touched everybody in the town.

Tobias added: "It was shocking. When you see somebody go from an 18 stone rugby player to what he ended up like through the disease, it was horrible.

"We still spend a lot of time with his daughter Laura, we are really good friends. I knew him as well as you know your girlfriend's family.

"My target was to stick with the theme and raise £2,221. I did that but it has since slowed down now.

"Over the summer, I have just been concentrating on my running. I just want to raise as much as possible."

To help Tobias reach his next target of £3,000, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tobias-rawcliffe