April 18, 2017 / 2:22 PM / 7 months ago

Durham farmer runs off with coal carrying crown

LONDON (Reuters) - A Durham farmer has beaten dozens of rivals to the title of World Coal Carrying Champion after charging through a northern England town with a 50kg (110 pounds) sack on his back.

Andrew Corrigan collapsed on a bed of hay after completing Monday’s 1.1-km (1,200-yard) race in a time of four minutes, 31 seconds, receiving warm applause from the crowd who lined the course in Gawthorpe, near Wakefield.

The quirky race started in the old mining town in 1963 when a man entered a pub and accused another of looking a bit unfit, leading to a race involving a sack of coal.

The women’s race, in which competitors each carried 20kg (44 pounds), was won by Jen Mustan in four minutes, 30 seconds.

Writing by Patrick Johnston, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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