Trowse to Timbuktu means miles of smiles as pupils complete feat

Trowse Primary School pupils completing their marathon effort on the nearby Common of running a mile

Trowse Primary School pupils completing their marathon effort on the nearby Common of running a mile a day as part of a new health iniative to get kids active. Jake Humphrey and Paul Evans with pupils proudly displaying their medals. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Added up, it is further than the distance from Trowse to Timbuktu.

But running a total of 2,912 miles was no problem for pupils and staff from Trowse Primary School, who took the challenge one day at the time.

The school has become the first in the region to compete the Daily Mile Marathon – a scheme that started in Scotland and is fast becoming a national phenomenon.

Six of the school's staff members and 106 pupils have each run a mile a day and competed their 26th mile yesterday to make it the distance of a marathon.

Headteacher Stuart Odell said: 'After hearing about how positive the initiative has been in Scotland it was something I wanted us to try.

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'Teachers and support staff have joined in the running too making it a real community event.'

Mr Odell said that as well as the health benefits, teachers had reported pupils were concentrating better in class after their run.

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The group Healthy Norwich suggested the school take on the challenge hoping other Norwich schools would follow suit.

Healthy Norwich lead Rachel Hunt said: 'When children start primary school one in four are overweight or obese and by the time they leave it's one in three.

'We need to do something now to make the children understand just how important their health is, and also just how easy it is to make a change.'

The youngsters were presented with medals after finishing their 26th mile.

Year six pupil Jem Gordon, 11, said he had enjoyed the daily run.

He said: 'It's been great, because you get to run with your friends, and you get really fit from it.'

Classmate Henri Paradot, 11, said:

'I think the first one we did was the hardest one, but as we kept on going it's got much easier.'

Mr Odell said the school planned to keep doing a daily mile.

He said: 'It is the Olympic games in Rio this summer and in the remaining 57 school days this term we are going to 'run to Rio'.

'It's only 5,859 miles!'

Has your school completed a healthy challenge? Contact Stuart Anderson on 01603 772588 or email

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