A WOMAN has completed a 127-mile run of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to help her own mental health and raise money for charity.

Gill Barker took on the run as part of her 35 Before 35 challenge series in aid of Leeds Mind and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

By taking on 35 challenges before her 35th birthday Gill is aiming to help other people while pushing her own physical and mental boundaries.

In the last year, she has raised more than £2,000 with 28 challenges including a coast-to-coast cycle, a marathon, a 24-hour run and climbing Mount Snowdon. She has also overcome mental challenges such as public speaking and overcoming her fear of heights at Go Ape.

Gill, who is a senior marketing officer and former student at Leeds Trinity University, said: “I don’t think that it has quite sunk in yet that I have completed a 127-mile run, but I’m glad that I managed to stick to running 20 something miles a day for six consecutive days. It’s amazing what you learn about yourself on runs like these – I would recommend it to anyone.”

Just two days after the run Gill took part in the Selby Three Swans Sportive, with entrants cycling either 30, 63 or 100 miles for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

She said: “When I registered for this bike ride, I really didn’t click that it would be two days after the canal run, so I’m really grateful that I signed up to the 30-mile route. I’m hoping that I’ll show both myself and others that we really can achieve anything we put our minds to.”

The university’s alumni relations officer Brett Arnall said:”This is an amazing story from an amazing graduate and colleague. Having suffered mental health issues myself I can empathise with what Gill has gone through. The challenges she has set herself and overcome are monumental.”

He added: “The fact that she is raising significant funds for great causes at the same time says a great deal about the type of person she is.”

Gill’s final challenge will take place to mark her 35th birthday in March.