Saturday, 18 November 2017
PUPILS at Whitchurch Primary School took part in a “mini-marathon” to raise money for charity.
More than 20 children from the school’s Willow class ran 26 laps of the village maze off Hardwick Road, a total distance of about a mile.
Each was awarded a medal and certificate before sitting down for a picnic.
The children raised more than £350 for Pancreatic Cancer UK in support of parent Nicola Robinson, who is running the London Marathon next Sunday.
She is running in memory of her father Brian Mount, who took part in many marathons before he died of pancreatic cancer last year, aged 79. She has now exceeded her £2,500 target but will continue fund-raising.
Mrs Robinson, a 43-year-old solicitor, lives with her husband Nathan and their children Stanley, five, who attends the school, and Daisy, three.
She is a keen lifelong runner who has previously competed in half marathons and 10km races but never a marathon.
Her father had applied for a London Marathon place on many occasions but was never successful.
Mrs Robinson was also rejected when she applied individually but was accepted on the Pancreatic Cancer UK team.
She said: “Dad had passed away by then so he never knew but I feel as though I’m running ‘his’ marathon.
“It was very emotional to get in because I’ve always wanted to run the London Marathon but I’d always assumed he would be in my support crew as he’d always been there for me. He will still be with me when I’m running, even if it’s not in the physical sense.”
Mrs Robinson has been training for five days a week, running distances of up to 20 miles at a time, and has run a total of about 800 miles since her place in the event was confirmed a few months ago.
She said: “I’ve always run for pleasure and fitness but never to this level of craziness. The training is pretty full-on — I’ve been running along the various footpaths around Whitchurch Hill, which is tough as lots of them are on steep hills, and some of my runs have taken me all the way to Reading.
“I’m really excited because the hard work is finally over and I’m tapering down a little bit, which you’re supposed to do in the run-up to a marathon.
“Now it’s just a case of keeping things ticking over with some shorter runs until the big day.
“It’s meant to be one of the most incredible marathons to run, so it should be great.
“However, part of me is looking forward to getting back to real life because it’s hard fitting the training in around two small children. I couldn’t have done it without the support of Nathan and my friends.
“Everyone has been incredibly supportive and I know Dad would be very proud.
“My children understand the importance of what I’m doing — although they’re young, Stanley knows it’s to raise money for the very clever doctors who can stop other people dying like his granddad.”
The school mini-marathon was organised by fellow school parent Annaliese Kemp.
Mrs Robinson said it was a “lovely” gesture, adding: “It was a great way for the children to celebrate the last day of term and raise awareness at the same time.
“The idea of running a sponsored race is quite a grown-up concept for young children but they understood it and really enjoyed it. We all had a cracking time.”
To sponsor Mrs Robinson, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/dads
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