The Chase

I do wonder about sponsored events; whether they are sufficiently painful for the participant to earn the cash we ask people to hand over. If I seek sponsorship for something I actually (even if secretly) enjoy then I am asking others to fund my pleasurable pastimes and pursuits. It hardly seems worthy of the request.

Tomorrow morning I am going to chase after a small group of colleagues as they walk from school (S10 5DP) in Cross pool, Sheffield, to Edale Youth Hostel in the Hope Valley (S33 7ZH). My aim, their challenge to me, is to try to catch them before they arrive at the centre. We intend to take this year’s Year 6 pupils for the traditional end of key stage 2 residential and outdoor activity but Covid-19 mitigations have made the trip much more expensive, and threaten to make it not worthwhile. We hope to offset a slice of the costs so parents alone do not have to foot the bill for extra transport, more staffing, extra nights (fewer children each period we are away), and alternative activity to fill the day.

I run and trail running is my preference. Colleagues (and anyone who will listen) know I run a fair bit. So is it enough of a sacrifice to be asking for your support?

I am undoubtedly older than ever, and I have seen both my speed and stamina drop off dramatically in the last year.

The walkers are considerably younger than I am, and many of them are regular runners and walkers.

I am running mostly unaided, and solo.

They are getting a two and a half hour head start.

My route involves one long climb (nearly six miles) and one stupidly steep one (up Win Hill from Parkin Clough).

I am running much less than at my peak three years ago – down to three runs a week, of maybe six or seven miles only. (Runners love to use the self-deprecating ‘only’.) I ache after each and every run these days; I will probably be hobbling after this for a couple of days.

At 15 miles it will be my longest run since Snowdonia Marathon in October 2019.

The extra steps we have to take for the trip to go ahead are no fault of anyone, and certainly no fault of the children. We remain utterly committed to the full curriculum and experience for all our pupils. We absolutely believe that these opportunities must be available to all pupils, regardless of ability to pay. So we will find the funds to pay what we have to pay to make the visit happen safely and successfully.

If you have supported us, thank you.

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