DETERMINED Knox Academy pupils and staff have raised more than £2,000 for a good cause after completing a gruelling race.

Eleven S6 pupils were joined by half a dozen members of staff at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival’s half-marathon start line.

The Knox Academy group all donned special t-shirts highlighting they were running for East Lothian Special Needs Playscheme (ELSNP).

The school has formed a strong bond with the charity, which provides full-day playschemes during school holidays for children aged five to 16 with a wide range of special needs/disabilities, and previously secured £3,000 for the good cause through a Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) scheme.

Lana Borwick, PE teacher, was among those taking part.

She said: “There was a real sense of community around the event.

“All the participants took to the ‘Pink Pen’ to give each other final words of support and encouragement before the early start on the day.

“Almost all of the Knox Academy runners were making their half marathon debut which was a real test of their commitment to training; and they didn’t disappoint, with everyone completing the challenge despite the poor weather conditions – some in remarkable times!

“It was a wonderful occasion and we are all very proud of what we’ve managed to achieve together, ultimately impacting on the opportunities that the playscheme can continue to provide to youngsters in our community.

“It was great also to see so many people brave the weather to come out and cheer us on, both from our school community and from the Playscheme, which really helped as the legs started to tire!

“Events like this serve as a fantastic reminder to us of the commitment, enthusiasm and drive that our young people have to make a difference in society.”

Joining Miss Borwick, who completed the 13.1-mile course in a time of 1:49.43, at the finish line were pupils Matthew Black (2:35.18), Dylan Brotherston (2:26.20), Isabelle Bowen (3:04.08), Elliot Cochrane (1:44.54), Harry Cunningham (2:06.38), Hana Elder (3:04.08), Adam Fairgrieve (2:02.27), Mateusz Juchniewicz (2:06.22), Max Leveque (1:53.50), Daniel Mackinnon (2:02.12) and Lauren Taylor (3:04.08), as well as Robert Flood (faculty head: social subjects) (2:18.33), Susanne Fox (principal teacher: pupil support) (2:49.55), Thomas Salkeld (rugby development officer) (2:11.21), Suzie Stewart (computing) (3:03.14) and Alex Redford (1:48.53).

Kirsty Milne of ELSNP was “blown away” by the support.

She said: “The team have significantly raised our charity’s profile by embarking on such a tremendous fundraiser and we are extremely thankful to them for the incredible amount raised.

“We have strengthened links with Knox Academy over the years, with many of their pupils past and present volunteering at or attending our playscheme and youth club provisions and it is amazing to see the school uniting to support our local cause.

“We cannot thank the runners enough for their incredible efforts and for raising such a large sum of money.

“Our playschemes will be running for the full six weeks of the summer break and, thanks to the generous donations from the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, we will be able to offer many fun trips and outings to those attending.

“There is something really special about seeing local young people coming together to support their peers and we are thankful to all at Knox Academy for their support.”