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A RUNNER will swap his sports gear for monks’ robes when he embarks on his latest charity challenge – an epic 60 mile in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice.

Paul Smith will mark St Cuthbert’s Day on Sunday (March 20) by running from York Minister to Durham Cathedral while dressed as the patron saint of the north.

The 53-year-old, from Sherburn Hill, near Durham City, hopes to raise funds for the Hospice and is urging people to sponsor him on his online fundraising page.

Paul, who works for Durham County Council, is a familiar sight on the roads, trails and footpaths of the region.

He has run at least 5k every day since January 2007, clocking up thousands of miles and raising hundreds of pounds for charity.

Previous fundraising stunts include running 90 miles around an athletics track on the longest day of the year while dressed as Superman, running 30 miles around a football pitch centre circle and running between four North-East football stadiums, arriving at Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park in time for kick-off.

Paul will set off from York minister at one minute past midnight on Sunday and will jog through the night as he strives to complete his 3370th consecutive run.

“It is going to be tough but it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy,” he said. “I love to come up with crazy fundraising ideas and look for quirky ways to keep running fun. I know what fantastic work St Cuthbert’s Hospice does in the community and I am proud to support this worthwhile cause. I hope to raise as much money and awareness as possible.”

Jade McArdle, Community and Events Fundraiser, said: “We are delighted Paul is supporting us in such a wonderful way. To run from York Minister to Durham Cathedral dressed as our namesake on St Cuthbert’s Day is such a fantastic fundraising idea. We are so grateful to him and wish him the very best of luck.”

To sponsor Paul, visit

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