EIGHT members of staff from Whitworth Community High School took on the Solo Great North Run and conquered it; one even running in hospital.

Gill Middlemas, headteacher, along with deputy head, Andrew Oliver, other teachers and associate staff planned to join thousands of runners at the 40th anniversary of the country’s largest annual half-marathon in Newcastle.

Due to COVID-19 it meant the event was reimagined and participants were invited to organise solo events and complete 40 runs of any length over seven weeks.
Head of geography, Suzy Jevons used to take part in the park runs at Towneley Park in Burnley.

When they stopped because of COVID, she took up running on her own and has not missed a day; including while she stayed with her son in hospital. She didn’t miss out on her exercise plan and ran on the spot to complete another kilometre.

By the end of August she had completed 1,022km and has since added a further 200km.

She said: “When I started running I thought I would see if I could also raise some pennies. 

“I decided to try to raise money for Medicines Sans Frontiers because I had seen the work the doctors were doing in the Yemen crisis and so far more than £500 has been raised.”

Mrs Jevons said she had received lots of sponsorship support from staff at the school.
Academic mentor Linzi Williams said: “Running, on average, every other day for seven weeks, the staff team ran a total of 1,043 miles. 

“Two staff members ran three half marathons as part of the challenge, all did several 10k runs and many ran more than 40 times, through heat-waves, torrential rain and battling through injury setbacks.”

Like Mrs Jevons, many of the staff have now carried on running as they felt it was important to inspire their students to look after their fitness.

They now set themselves challenges, raise money for charities and work as a team.

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