A DEWSBURY police officer is getting ready for one of his toughest challenges yet - carrying coal.
Sgt Graham Hawcroft is taking part in the World Coal Carrying Championships in Gawthorpe on Easter Monday on April 12 to raise money for cancer research at the Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield.
The Championships are now in their 41st year.
The World record is set at four minutes six seconds and held by David Jones, of Meltham.
What began as a playful challenge between two friends has now become an annual Easter event of stamina and muscle.
The race itself is little under a mile long and runs from the Royal Oak in Ossett to the maypole in the village of Gawthorpe.
The race is limited to 30 competitors who each carry a 50 kilo sack of coal.
Women contestants also run the same circuit and recent years have seen a children's event.
Sgt Hawcroft, 35, has worked for West Yorkshire Police for 12 years.
He has been training hard for the event.
He said: "I have a neighbour who is a coalman, so I have bought a sack off him to get up to speed with my technique.
Anyone wishing to sponsor Sgt Hawcroft should contact him on 01924 431156.