Banbury primary school children help teacher in training for London Marathon

Pupils at a Banbury primary school have been getting behind their teachers’ training for the London Marathon by running alongside her.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 3:15 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 9:06 am
Sharon Darke with some of the Hill View Primary School pupils at the starting line

Hill View Primary School teacher Sharon Darke has enlisted the children in her training sessions as she prepares to take part in her third marathon, clocking up more than 700 miles so far.

The year 1 teacher said: “I am seriously impressed with the pupils at Hill View Primary School for their hard work and commitment in completing their runs over the past few weeks.

"Each and every one of them rose to the challenge and encouraged each other to keep going until they reached the finish line.

Sharon Darke running with two Hill View Primary School pupils

“I would like to thank all of the parents and children for their support – thinking of them and my two charities will definitely keep me going over those final few miles on marathon day!”

Pupils across the school are taking it in turns to complete a run around the school field.

Children in nursery school and foundation stage classes have been given the challenge of running half a mile, while older pupils are running between one and two miles.

One year 1 pupil said: “I ran one mile with Mrs Darke. I am proud because I was running very fast. My legs were whizzing and I was trying very hard. It was the best day ever.”

Sharon Darke and foundation stage teacher Emily Whitmarsh with Hill View Primary School pupils ready to run

Her decision to tackle the distance once again rose out of her desire to raise money for two charities very close to her heart.

The first is the Oxfordshire Children’s Diabetes Service, based at the John Radcliffe and Horton General Hospital, which has helped to care for Samuel, Sharon’s teenage son, since his diagnosis.

The second is the Twins and Multiple Birth Association Bereavement Group, which she helps coordinate, after her twin boys died after being born prematurely at 26 weeks 19 years ago.

Head teacher Claire Ferens said: "At Hill View Primary School, we work hard to deliver an education with character to all of our pupils by giving them opportunities to take on challenges, develop new skills and strengthen their teamwork capabilities, like this marathon training exercise.

"We are so proud of all of our children for their concerted efforts over the past few weeks and would like to wish Mrs Darke the best of luck for her upcoming run – we can’t wait to try and spot her on the television wearing our school logo!”