Road-running fun for mix of ages

The Chantry Middle School and Technology College pupils and staff that took part in the Junior Great North Run and the Great North Run respectively.
The Chantry Middle School and Technology College pupils and staff that took part in the Junior Great North Run and the Great North Run respectively.
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Staff and pupils at a Morpeth school put on their running shoes during a weekend of high-profile races.

The hundreds of young people doing the 4km Junior Great North Run on the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside included a contingent from Chantry Middle School and Technology College.

They were Piper Clarke, Harry Hoggan, Breeanne Moody, Holly Peck, Trinity Stanners, Joseph Swinney, Emma Watson, Rebecca Watson and Brandon Wilson.

Brandon and Trinity raised money for the British Heart Foundation and Piper collected sponsorship funds for the Stroke Association.

A day later, teachers Philip Hutchinson and Julie Edwards completed the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields.

Miss Edwards, assistant headteacher, said: “I’ve now done this half-marathon six times and even though it was the warmest conditions I had faced for the run, Phil and I still enjoyed taking part as the atmosphere was fantastic.

“It’s good to have an event where we can relate to the pupils because we can ask them about the junior run and their preparations and vice versa.”

Mr Hutchinson added: “Quite a few of the pupils trained for their run and they achieved some good times.

“It’s great that some of them also raised money for charity.”

A number of Ponteland residents also took part the Great North Run (13.1 miles in total), including two in aid of Smile For Life, which runs exciting experiences, activities and trips for children and young people in the North East with disabilities or special needs, and provides specialist support for individuals in need.

In addition, it recently opened up a community coffee shop in Gosforth that enables young people with learning difficulties and disabilities to gain work experience, new skills and meet members of the community.

Sarah Baker, 36, had also completed the half-marathon for the charity in 2012 when she stepped in for its chief executive, Paula Gascoigne.

She said: “I enjoy the run because lots of people at the side of the road cheer you on and one of the spectators acknowledged the charity when I ran past, which was nice.”

Alison McLaughlin, 48, who won a competition to be one of Smile For Life’s runners, said: “It was fantastic to do my first Great North Run for such a good cause and I was chuffed with my time (one hour 49 minutes), especially as it was a hot day.”