Pupils complete marathon challenge

HUNDREDS of school children braved freezing conditions to run the final mile of their marathon challenge.

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Youngsters take part in event
Youngsters take part in event

Around 450 youngsters from primary schools on Glasgow's South Side lined up in Bellahouston Park to run the Active Schools Mile-a-thon Finale.

Despite icy conditions on the paths, organisers found a safe route and the children set off.

Over the past 13 weeks the P4, P5, P6 and P7 classes at Cardonald, Craigton, Crookston Castle and Sandwood primaries have been running two miles a week to reach their 26.2 mile marathon target.

Each week they ran one mile in school and a second mile on their own at home.

The 20-minute run saw all the children complete the challenge and win a medal, presented by representatives from event sponsors Glasgow Housing Association.

They warmed up with a five-minute jog before the race was started with the P7s running off first, followed by the younger pupils.

The route was supposed to take runners round the pitch-and-putt course in Bellahouston Park, but icy conditions meant it was changed so they ran along a clear path.

John Kynaston, active schools co-ordinator at Rosshall Learning Community, organised the event.

He visited all the schools in January to encourage the children to take part following the success of the Olympics in London.

John said: "It was great, it went really well.

"All the kids ran together for 20 minutes and we gave out the medals. It has been great, the kids have loved it."

In total 197 children from Cardonald Primary took part in the event. Their head teacher Graeme Beacham said: "It is promoting the benefits of exercise and being outdoors and being active and the children really enjoy it.

"The children enjoyed the challenge of it and it's quite good for them to set themselves goals and targets.

"It was good fun, it was really nice to see, every child said they really enjoyed it.

"I am really proud of them."

Hazel Young, GHA's south area director, said: "We're delighted to support the mile-a-thon as it's a great way for the youngsters to keep fit and healthy.

"It shows everyone what is possible with a little bit of effort each week. Hopefully many of the youngsters will continue to keep exercising.

"We might even have a couple of Olympic and Commonwealth Games stars of the future among them."

matty.sutton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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