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Samuel Whitbread students take on marathon fundraiser

Netball and rugby students at Samuel Whitbread Academy have taken on their biggest physical fitness challenge yet. 

The students will be travelling to South Africa in July to compete in an international competition. 

To cover the cost of kit and excursions, one being to swim with seals, the group set themselves a fundraising goal of £6,000. 

And to help them reach their target they came up with an epic challenge – running a marathon by completing one mile every hour for 26 hours straight. 

The fundraiser kicked off at 3pm on Thursday 8 December at the school. Many of the participating students and staff were wrapped up in hats and gloves, while others opted for a fancy-dress approach and wore onesies to keep them warm. 

Their challenge moved to Biggleswade Rugby Club to carry on through the night, and the group powered on despite the sub-zero temperatures. Staff who joined them were incredibly impressed with their determination to carry on despite their lack of sleep.  

On the Friday morning the group returned to school to tick off the final nine miles (not forgetting the additional 0.2!) – finally reaching the finish line at 5pm. 

Donations flooded in and the students smashed their original target, with over £10,000 raised to date. 

The team have decided to split the proceeds between expenses for the tour and an orphanage they will visit when they are out there.  

Principal Nick Martin said: “Despite the cold conditions, sleep deprivation and uncomfortable beds these students never gave up! Their determination, teamwork and commitment embodies our school values They are great Samuel Whitbread ambassadors!” 

The GoFundMe page is still open. If you would like to donate visit: