The young Olympians of the future at Lime Tree Primary School in Merstham have been encouraged to put their best feet forward and take part in Run Reigate, the UK's first cumulative half marathon for children.
The main event of the campaign is a one-mile fun run on Sunday September 18th, which they are being encouraged to do with family and friends. But in the build-up to that date, Lime Tree pupils are running an additional 12 miles – broken down into smaller distances – to take them up to the half marathon distance.
“The initial idea came from one of our parents at the school, who works for Run Reigate and having children in two different years here was keen for Lime Tree to get involved,” said teacher Emily Brown, who is organising the scheme.
“She came in and gave an assembly to explain what the idea was, and fortunately the pupils loved the idea and now we’re committed to it. So far 59 children are signed up and we’ve got plenty more who are hoping to start taking part soon.”
Regular running is an addition to the curriculum at Lime Tree, which opened in temporary facilities in 2013 before moving to its new permanent home last year, and is a member of the GLF Schools group, a Surrey-based multi-academy trust running more than a dozen schools across the south east. But Ms Brown said the response had been so positive it could be something with a long future ahead of it.
“There’s a daily pre-school running club and the children are completing weekly miles with their class teachers,” she explained. “Not only is it giving them a wonderful feeling of achievement, but it’s also doing them a power of good physically and also teaching them that a healthy lifestyle is really enjoyable too.”
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