Ashleigh Burns and Ann Rigby
Ashleigh Burns with mum, Ann Rigby

Ashleigh Burns, from Shaw Mills, challenge to raise funds for people with bowel cancer


A woman from Harrogate is challenging people to run, walk or cycle to the power of 10 to raise money for people affected by bowel cancer.

Ashleigh Burns, from Shaw Mills, has launched the TENacity challenge having missed out on completing the Great North Run for a second time, after it was cancelled this year because of coronavirus.

Ashleigh, aged 46, had also secured a place in the run last year, but her mum Ann Rigby – who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in November 2018  – was in hospital at the time, and Ashleigh remained at her bedside. Just a week later, Ann sadly died at the age of 74, ten months after she was diagnosed with the disease.

Ashleigh said:

I missed running the Great North Run in 2019 as I couldn’t leave my mam’s bedside, and we lost her a week later to bowel cancer. While she was ill, we discussed what my next challenge would be and which charity I would support.

This year, the Great North Run was due to be held a year to the day of her death, and I knew when it was announced that I would be at the starting line for my mam and Bowel Cancer UK.

But COVID-19 put paid to that, along with so much more, but I still wanted to do something to help others in a similar situation to my mam.


Ann Rigby
Ann Rigby

Ashleigh said she had chosen the name TENacity for the challenge, to reflect the fact that 10 was her mother’s favourite number, and that she was tenacious and never gave up.

Ashleigh added:

My mam gave a really good fight against bowel cancer. We were told to say our goodbyes three times, but she bravely fought against this horrible disease. She really didn’t want to give up.

All funds raised will go to Bowel Cancer UK, to help the charity carry on its vital work to help people like my mam live longer past diagnosis or even prevent the disease.



Ashleigh Burns
Ashleigh Burns

Ashleigh is asking anybody interested in signing up to visit and run, walk or cycle for 10 kilometres or 10 miles in the days leading up to 13 September.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer, affecting both men and women. Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with the disease. Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Symptoms can include bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, or a pain or lump in your tummy

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, and other health problems can cause similar symptoms. If you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, please visit your doctor.

For more information about Bowel Cancer UK, visit

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