It’s a trial of strength and stamina.
The annual Caphouse Colliery Coal Race took place at the National Coal Mining Museum for England, near Grange Moor.
The event – inspired by the Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships , which take place every year on Easter Monday – included races for men, women and children.
The men carry 50kg of coal with women shouldering 20kg of coal. The adults had to tackle an 800m course from Caphouse Colliery to the museum’s Hope Pit site.
The children’s races took place on a 100m long course with 11 to 14-year-olds carrying 5kg of coal and 15 to 17-year-olds toting 10kg.
There was also a fun coal and spoon race for younger children.
All entrants received a commemorative certificate with cash prizes for the top three men, women and youths and goody bags for the younger children. The men’s race was won by World Coal Carrying veteran John Hunter, of Scarborough, while the winner of the women’s race was Linda Milner, who registered on the day.
The races recall the days of the coalman, who delivered supplies to households in the days when every home had a coal fire.
Shaun McLoughlin, head of engagement and collections at the museum, said: “The coalmen would have been a part of daily life and we thought it would be great for the museum to stage its very own coal carrying race against the backdrop of the pit.
“This is the second year we have staged it at the museum. We were pleased to welcome around 40 competitors on the day – men, women and children and everyone that takes part is very competitive so we know we’re going to see a proper race.
“We had about 200 people spectating at one point, cheering on the racers. It’s a great atmosphere and there’s something for all the family – there were coal and spoon races this year for the little ones who are keen to take part and our ponies were out racing too which was great fun. We will definitely be staging the race again next year.”