Brancaster Primary School pupils join Sophie’s training for the London Marathon

Primary pupils were put through their paces by a school governor in training for her first marathon.

Sophie de Winton will be running the London Marathon in April to raise money for the Zanzibar Action Project.

Yesterday children at Brancaster Primary joined her for a training session.

'It was brilliant but they were all faster than me,' said Mrs de Winton. 'We set off running around the field and they all overtook me.'

Apart from being overtaken by the children Mrs de Winton, 48, admitted marathon training was not proving easy.

'It's my first marathon and it will be my last,' she said. 'Trying to get my legs used to road running is the toughest thing. I've got aches and pains I've never had before.'

Mrs de Winton hopes to raise �5,000 towards the Norfolk-based charity's work to improve health care and education in the country.

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She has already raised �2,000 from activities including a quiz night in Brancaster attended by 80 people.

Her husband Tom's company, King's Lynn-based Reeve Flooring will also be sponsoring her on the run.

ZAP works in partnership with people in Zanzibar, supporting nursery schools, higher education, healthcare and employment.

Set up seven years ago by retired GP Pat Preece and his wife Janie, from Sedgeford, ZAP pledges to keep admin to a minimum.

Mrs Preece visited Brancaster primary last month to tell the children about the lives of Zanzibar's poor.

The children learned how only the most basic resources are available and items such as pens and paper are considered a luxury.

They found that nothing is wasted in Zanzibar – a bicycle wheel or tin can becomes a toy, while two empty plastic bottles tied together with string make swimming floats.

Pupil Sabrina Rayner, secretary of the school council, said: 'We were very impressed with what ZAP is doing in Zanzibar and wanted to help too.

'We hope to set up a link with the school in Jambiani village and find out more about life there.'

Pupils will be running a cake stall at the school on Friday morning.

Mrs de Winton's daughter Honor and son Edward - now aged 15 and 13 respectively - both went to Brancaster Primary. She has been a governor at the school for 10 years and until recently was chair of governors.

For more information about ZAP, go online to

Mrs de Winton also has a page where donations can be made at