London MarathonPosted: 1st May 2019
Young people have been inspired to get active after watching their teacher complete the London Marathon.
Matt Carter, deputy headteacher at Royal Docks Academy, took on the mammoth challenge at the weekend in support of The East End Community Foundation.
In preparation for the marathon, 50 students and eight colleagues joined Mr Carter in his 149th 5k Park Run, at Victoria Docks.
The teacher’s journey has inspired a new passion for running among students, many of whom are keen to join him on his next 5k run.
Mr Carter, who ran his first marathon in Brighton in 2010, said: “Our students have been wonderful. I am quite a low-key person and don’t like attention, but every member of staff at school has shook my hand and congratulated me and hundreds of students have come up to me to say well done.
“In terms getting students involved in the community and in fitness, we are going to do more Park Runs together in future. Lots want to join me after watching my journey.”
On completing the famous London route, he said: “I took a little longer than I had hoped, but I set off too quickly. I was fairly near to the front of the crowd and so didn’t have to wait very long at all to start. I felt really good and there was nobody holding me back. I got caught up in the euphoria and didn’t realise I was running so quickly. At mile 15, I realised I was timing too early and by mile 19 it was very, very difficult.”
Mr Carter raised £2,000 for the charity which funds programmes and organisations to improve educational achievement, increase employability and ensure all children have access to bright and fulfilling futures.
He said it was that worthy cause and the support of his family which got him through the final miles of the course.
Mr Carter, who completed the marathon in four hours and 18 minutes said: “The crowds get you along; the support was unbelievable. I wrote my name on my arms and the amount of people calling out to me personally was amazing; at first, you think they are people you know, but you soon get used to it.
“I saw my family at miles 12 and 24. At mile 12, it was a quick hi-five, but by mile 24 it was hugs all round – it was so difficult by then, it takes so much out of you emotionally. The only thing to get you through to the end is your family and the crowds. You stop worrying about the time. There is such good community spirit and you have raised money for charity; that’s what becomes important and the reason you keep going.
“In the 24 hours following the run, I was saying no way would I do it again. But, already, I want to do it again and am planning how I can improve on my time!”