SCHOOLCHILDREN are often accused of giving teachers the run around... but soon the (running) shoe could be on the other foot!

A team of 19 will represent Knox Academy at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in the half marathon.

Eleven pupils and eight members of staff will all pull on special t-shirts highlighting that they are running for East Lothian Special Needs Playscheme (ELSNP).

Alex Redford, a modern studies teacher at the school, said they were looking forward to taking to the start line on May 26.

He said: “S6 have really tried to embody the school values of Ambition, Respect and Community this year.

“They have worked so very hard on various fundraisers throughout the year and it has been great to see them really engage with the school values.”

Pupils Matthew Black, Dylan Brotherston, Isabelle Bowen, Elliot Cochrane, Harry Cunningham, Hana Elder, Adam Fairgrieve, Mateusz Juchniewicz, Max Leveque, Daniel Mackinnon and Lauren Taylor will be joined on the start line by Lana Borwick (PE), Robert Flood (faculty head: social subjects), Susanne Fox (principal teacher: pupil support), Steven Illingworth (depute headteacher), Adam Miller (modern studies), Thomas Salkeld (rugby development officer), Suzie Stewart (computing) and Mr Redford.

Pupil Dylan said: “There is a little bit of friendly rivalry between the pupils.

“Obviously, we are all quite competitive with each other and we are quite close friends. We go training together and there is competitiveness there.

“We would expect to finish before the staff – except Miss Borwick, she is fairly fit, we would take being beaten by her!”

Mr Redford came up with the idea of running the 13.1-mile course and got in touch with fellow members of staff.

He said: “A couple of years ago, I decided I would run the half marathon.

“This year, I just thought it would be nice, rather than personal charities, to try to tie in with the school.

“I wanted to see if anybody wanted to join me, it was a punt in the dark, and wanted to see whether any other staff or S6 pupils wanted to do it.

“Everyone was really keen.”

Runners will set off from Potterrow in Edinburgh before winding their way through the city and finally to East Lothian.

S6 pupil Dylan said training was going well and told the Courier how he had been inspired by the charity, which provides full-day playschemes during school holidays for East Lothian children aged five to 16 with a wide range of special needs or disabilities.

He said: “Obviously, the charity is really worthwhile. My personal motivation is seeing the work the charity has done with pupils in the school.”

Exhausted, athletes will cross the finish line at the playing fields at Pinkie in Musselburgh.

Dylan added: “It is nice to be able to run in an environment that is familiar.

“Hopefully, a few staff and pupils will be coming to support us at the end. When we have done these runs in the past, the support the community offers is brilliant and spurs you on.

“It is nice to be in a local environment.”

In total, the Knox Academy teachers and pupils are aiming to raise more than £1,000, with each runner tasked with collecting at least £50 of sponsorship.

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