A GROUP of lifelong friends from Basingstoke are taking on a 24-hour race to raise awareness for Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Alex Price, Craig Barker, Stephen Horton, Ama Bhuller and Stuart Urquart are participating in the physically taxing challenge next month, alongside race director Richard Impett, having all felt the effects of the incurable disease.

Speaking to the Gazette, Alex, 35, talked about the group's experiences with MND, and explained how they have been inspired to make a difference: "Ten years ago, Barbara Barker, the mother of one of my best friends, Craig, passed away from Motor Neurone Disease.

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Basingstoke Gazette: The group 10 years ago alongside BarbaraThe group 10 years ago alongside Barbara (Image: Barb's Boys)

"She was like a second mother to us, knowing Barbs from being young, we had all known her for a long time, she was a normal mum who was affected by this incurable disease.

"It was frightening how quickly she deteriorated. Motor Neurone Disease impacts all the muscles but the brain stays intact. It was awful to see."

The six dads previously completed the challenge while Barbara was still alive and now, 10 years since her death, 'Barb's Boys', as the group are known, have united once again to take on the mammoth task.

The group will be competing against numerous other teams in Endure24 - a 24-hour ultra run trail which is being held at Wasing Park, Reading, on Saturday, June 8.

The race will be non-stop, and the lads will take it in turns, passing the baton, aiming to achieve 25 to 30 miles each.

Barb's Boys have put in a lot of hard work, training day and night as they prepare to take on the challenge and raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Alex said: "We've been recreating a lot of the overnight runs we did 10 years ago, recently we've gone out at 7pm, 10pm and 1am to get used to the conditions we'll be facing.

"Training has been going well, it can be difficult getting together so we have been doing a lot of it solo, aiming for 30 miles a week. So far I've completed 500 miles this year. It's tough on the body but it is worthwhile.

"We are just six dads wanting to make a difference for Motor Neurone Disease, especially for Craig as it can be hereditary.

"It has been so good to raise over £4,000 so far, for a group of blokes who haven't done a lot of running, it's been great. We want to raise this money so people don't have to suffer going forward."

Readers can donate to Barb's Boys on their JustGiving page justgiving.com/page/craig-barker-1709239793915

You can also follow their journey on Instagram instagram.com/barbs_boys.