TEENAGE friends slept for 22 hours after completing a gruelling challenge that has seen them raise more than £1,300 for the NHS.

The six girls, all aged 13 or 14, ran 24 kilometres in 24 hours on courses they plotted themselves around their neighbourhood.

Although year nine students Katie Gough, Millie Duncan, Ella Delgado, Jessica Hewitt and Poppy Walker, who attend Great Sankey High School, and Olivia Fisher, who studies St Gregory's High School, have backgrounds in a mix of sport and recreational activities none of them are experienced runners.

They ran one kilometre every hour from 9am Saturday to 9am Sunday last weekend and were encouraged by fantastic support from family and friends.

Warrington Guardian:

Running girls, from left, Millie Duncan, Poppy Walker, Katie Gough, Ella Delgado, Jessica Hewitt and Olivia Fisher

The girls stuck to social distancing guidelines throughout and stayed in each other's gardens throughout the challenge, which entailed braving stormy weather conditions too.

Such was the impact of the challenge, Ella even ended up paying a visit to the accident and emergency department at Warrington Hospital afterwards.

"The following day the girls slept more or less all day, some for 22 hours and only waking for food," said Sarah Gough, mother of Katie who first had the idea to take on the challenge.

"Ella ended up in A&E as she aggravated an old hip problem. She's been hobbling around on crutches but said it is worth it for the memories and the money they’ve raised.

"The girls on the whole were pretty achy from their exploits."

She added: "They all feel a massive sense of achievement for what they have accomplished.

"They are proud of themselves for not giving up especially when the runs at 5am, 6am and 7am were the toughest.

"They have been blown away by the response to their 'Just Giving' page which now stands at over £1,300."

Warrington Guardian:

Katie was inspired by a TikTok video in America where people were running one mile every hour.

She adapted it to one kilometre every hour instead and asked her friends if they would be up for the challenge.

They were all out of their comfort zone.

"None of the girls are runners," explained Sarah.

Katie plays for Warrington Town Netball Club's elite under 14s team and has been chosen for Cheshire for the past three years.

Millie is a high achiever in swimming, training at least 16 hours per week and swims at county, regional and national level while also being on the Swim England Talent Programme.

Jessica is a dedicated member of Appleton Netball Club, Ella competes in cheerleading for 'Rising Stars'.

Olivia and Poppy both attend 'First Act' – an amateur dramatics group studying musical theatre among other things, while Poppy also dances at Sarah Royal School of Dance.

But the running challenge brought them all together in a way like never before.

Sarah said: "The girls plotted out a one kilometre route near to each of their houses and then stayed in their gardens, social distancing during the time when they weren't running.

"They stayed at each house for four hours and were well fed by each of their mums."

You can still donate to the girls' fundraising efforts at justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-gough13