Mary Bear Taylor completes 100 runs in 100 daysImage: Mary Bear Taylor

Crowning glory for Queen Mary who completes 100 runs in 100 days for the NHS

Centenary celebrations for costumed runner Mary Bear Taylor, fundraising for the NHS

Mary Bear Taylor achieved 100 runs in 100 days for Airedale Hospital while keeping spirits up in Silsden during the coronavirus outbreak. Her home town paid tribute to her achievements notably by crowning her Silsden Gala Queen for 2020. 

The brave runner has become a familiar and popular figure in the West Yorkshire town whose tight knit community supported Mary in a variety of ways during her centenary challenge. Every morning at 10am Mary would appear in a different costume and run past houses, care homes, businesses etc and everyone appreciated her efforts as well as her altruism. The aim was to take people’s minds off lockdown and raise funds for Airedale General Hospital. 

Mary set up a JustGiving page with a target of £500 and coupled with her liking for fancy dress, decided to run for 100 days in 100 different costumes. It also provided a focus as her races had been postponed or cancelled due to the crisis.

The outfits included Woody from Toy Story, Mad Hatter, Cinderella, the Karate Kid, even a Nun on the Run with more than a few of these provided by local people. There were messages of support on Silsden Buzz Facebook page, running shoes from Discount Sports Skipton, physio for a calf injury and gifts of cakes and afternoon tea. 

On Tuesday 7 July ‘Queen’ Mary, accompanied by a group of runners in fancy dress completed her 100th run in Silsden Park to a round of applause. She was presented with a cheque for £425 from residents that together with online donations broke her original target and currently is £2,100. 

Whilst the scale of the achievement is still sinking in, it is the town pulling together during this crisis that has made the difference. Mary says: “Just to look back and remember that Covid-19 as bad as it was, we as a community made it as good as we could.” 

Image courtesy: Mary Bear Taylor

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