SEVENTY runners dressed as superheroes took to the Trans Pennine Trail in Lymm on Sunday to put on their own half marathon.

Many had signed up for the English Half Marathon which was due to take place in Warrington in support of former Lymm High School pupil Paul Cooper who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour earlier this year.

They’d planned to run the race dressed as Cooperman and Blunderwoman – characters from the Russ Abbot show in the 1980s – as a nod to their friend’s surname.

So when the race was cancelled, they made their own 10km and half marathon route from Sow Brook in Lymm to the Rope and Anchor in Altrincham with the half marathon runners completing it twice.

Organiser Guy Larkin, 46, a schoolfriend of Paul, explained: “After Paul’s diagnosis I felt compelled to do something.

"Paul is a great lad, intelligent, funny albeit with a shocking taste in football teams as a City fan.

“I chose to do a run because of Paul’s passion for running but it was more an opportunity to circle around Paul and show him how much he means to us individually and collectively.

“So many people care for Coops and his family and thanks to social media we were able to put together our own Superhero running team which was much more personal than the EHM and everyone had time to run with Paul and celebrate with him afterwards.”

Guy arranged a post race party at the Bridgwater club in Lymm with a medal presentation and barbecueput on by the Riff Raff society, a charity raising money for local good causes.

More than £12,000 has already been donated so far to support Paul, 46, and his wife Emma, 41, and two daughters Hannah, two, and Isabelle, five who live in Sale.

Paul added: “I feel incredibly lucky to have friends and family who are amazingly loyal and I can’t express enough the level of support they’ve given me during this difficult time.

“Guy worked so hard in organising everything and bringing friends I’ve known all my life together and I can’t thank him enough. It was one of the best days of my life.”

If you’d like to support Paul and his family, visit the Just Giving page at