Youngsters keep on running for charity

THEY did it - and not once, but twice!Young runners at a village school had been aiming to complete a marathon, and ended up running more than two.Members of the running club at Grundisburgh primary school set their sights on the famous 26 miles 385 yards as part of a special sponsored event to raise money for Asthma Relief.

THEY did it - and not once, but twice!

Young runners at a village school had been aiming to complete a marathon, and ended up running more than two.

Members of the running club at Grundisburgh primary school set their sights on the famous 26 miles 385 yards as part of a special sponsored event to raise money for Asthma Relief.

But despite strong winds and rain at times, they chalked up an incredible 57.6 miles.

PE instructor Ernie Ross said: “We had worked out that the children needed to do 137 laps between them to reach the marathon distance.

“But they just didn't want to stop! They kept on running and running and in the end did 288 laps.

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“It was fantastic and a fabulous achievement. We are all so proud of them.”

Seventeen children aged eight to 11 took part, doing laps of the school perimeter with their total distances added together.

Mr Ross said in the end he had to stop the race.

“I was getting a bit concerned towards the end because the weather started deteriorating really badly and we had some tiles come off the school roof,” he said.

“Although the tiles were not near the children, I didn't want to take any chances and end up having anyone injured. The children just wanted to keep running but I said we had to be sensible and halt.

“They did so well, though. I had expected them to run perhaps a mile or two on average, but the average was much higher and a couple did five miles and one lad did six.

“It was a monster, monster effort, and tremendous fun.”

About £300 has been raised for Asthma Relief.

Before the race started, the children - who give up their lunchtimes to train - presented Mr Ross, an ex-Army PE instructor with qualifications for teaching a number of sports, including swimming, football and rugby, with a large medal to thank him for his support.

“I was really touched. I told them it was not about me, it was about them - they are the ones who give up their spare time to train, are so enthusiastic and can't wait to get going,” he said.

The group learns a variety of running techniques, including sprints, short and long distance running.

WEBLINK: www.asthmarelief.org.uk

What do you think of the children's efforts? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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