A PRIMARY school teacher has been cheered over the line after completing a virtual marathon.

Janice Robison had been due to take part in the Manchester Marathon in the spring before it was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Instead, she covered the 26 miles in and around Haddington before reaching the finish line in Neilson Park.

The mum-of-three took on the challenge to help her best friend Marie Briggs and her son Tommy.

The two-year-old was born at 32 weeks and is a surviving twin after his brother Joe died at birth as a result of twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS).

Tommy has a range of conditions, including cerebral palsy and cortical visual impairment.

Janice, who has taught at Haddington Primary School for 13 years, took on the virtual marathon and raised nearly £1,400 for Just4Children, with the money going to support Tommy.

She said: “I was looking to raise money to help with therapies and decided to sign up for the Manchester Marathon.

“I started training on December 16 last year and, about three weeks before the marathon, Covid happened.

“Two weeks beforehand it was cancelled and I had already done my 20-mile run and had raised money.

“Then, lockdown happened and I started teaching from home with online learning.

“I had my three children and was only allowed our one time out each day to exercise.

“Either my children got on their bike or they ran with me and I ran practically every day in lockdown.”

Since returning to the classroom, the P1 teacher has been clocking up the miles before work – getting up at 5am to run eight miles – with longer runs at the weekend.

On November 1, she set off from her Haddington home and covered the full marathon distance, with friends and family joining her at various parts of the route.

Finally, she reached the finish line at the park beside the school and Janice, who previously taught at Gullane Primary School and Law Primary School in North Berwick, said: “It was very emotional.

“I could not believe how emotional I was and the fact that I was able to get Tommy and run with him through the finish line was very emotional as well.”

Tommy, who is “fully reliant” on his parents, lives in Earlston in the Borders with parents Marie and Keith, as well as elder sister Rosie and miniature Schnauzer Rab.

Marie described her friend Janice, whom she met in school, as a “force to be reckoned with”.

She said: “It was not only running the marathon, which is an incredible feat, but just the fact she was doing it and putting herself through it – her body, her mind, her soul, her family. She put her whole life on hold to train for our little boy and that is best friends, I guess. It is overwhelming.

“I was so proud of her and so grateful because it is not only the marathon but the training, fundraising and everything that comes with it.

“It is hard work and to have somebody take that little bit of weight off our shoulders to help is a big deal.”

Donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/Janice-Robison1