Four businessmen join forces for charity

Four local businessmen will join forces for charity in June this year, as they swap traditional work attire for running trainers and take on a gruelling 12-hour, off road relay race.

Frazer Durris, Nick Gaskell, Thomas Corrigan and Jonny Russell are no strangers to competing in local and regional running events independently or as members of running clubs.

However, their latest race will see them team together for the first time to take part in the Trailblaster 12, taking place at Towneley Park, Burnley on the 21st June.

The four will be raising money for Pendleside Hospice, a registered charity that promotes and enhances the quality of life for those with a life-limiting illness, their families and carers.

“As a competitive runner, I love to push myself; so I’m looking forward to the Trailblaster 12 as it’s a real test of strength and perseverance for the team as a whole,” said Frazer Durris, managing director of energy procurement and cost reduction company Businesswise Solutions in Nelson.

“The event is a team effort which means we have to rely on each other, and as regular individual runners this is something we’re not used to; a challenge both physically and mentally.

The Trailblaster 12 is a test against the clock; the idea is for one member of the team to remain on the course at all times during the 12 hours and runners must complete one 5K lap before swapping with a team mate.

Nick Gaskell, owner of Gaskell Motor Bodies in Great Harwood said: “Gaskell Motor Bodies host the annual East Lancashire 10K, and Frazer and his team at Businesswise Solutions take part every year. We thought it would be an interesting idea to try something different and a little more challenging and the Trailblaster 12 provides the perfect opportunity to do this.”

Similar to Frazer and Nick, Tom Corrigan, owner of Northern Relish café in Nelson, is another competitive runner who is a member of Barlick Fell Runners and always keen to take part in local events.

He said: “I’ve been training and competing a great deal over the last 18 months, so when Frazer approached me about the Trailblaster 12, I was thrilled at the idea! I’m currently involved in the Burnley and Pendle Grand Prix, which also raises money for Pendleside Hospice, so I’m hoping to raise a generous amount for the fantastic charity.”

The final member of the team Jonny Russell, of The Ark Caterers in Burnley is a member of Trawden Athletic Club alongside Frazer and Nick, and he, like the others, is keen to take part in tough and strenuous races designed to challenge the runner.

“I won a ballot place in the London Marathon, so when I heard about the Trailblaster 12 I knew I’d be well on my way with training and it would be a good chance to push myself alongside some excellent runners,” said Jonny.

“I'm a little out of my depth with the class of the other three team members but maybe they'll be thankful later on in the day, when they're having a nice long rest and I'm doing my relay legs!” To make a donation to this very worthy local cause, please visit