TWO schools in Knaphill will each get a defibrillator each after children, teachers and parents raised £3,700 by taking part in the Surrey Half Marathon.

Sixty runners from Knaphill School and Knaphill Lower School took part in the event, with everyone finishing their particular event.

Runners from Knaphill School and Knaphill Lower School have raised money for a defibrillator for each school

Some completed the 13-mile half marathon in Woking earlier this month, while others opted for the 5k and the children took part in the 2k race.

Team organiser, Mandy Walsh, who has children in both schools, said the initiative was a great success.

“It was lovely; a brilliant day. Everyone did very well, especially the kids and we are very proud of them,” Mandy said.

She said the Surrey Half Marathon was very well organised event and a credit to Woking.

Mandy organised the team after one of the parents and a teacher did a first aid course and decided that the schools needed to have a defibrillator.

The combined sponsorship target from family and friends was around £2,000, so that both schools could each get one of the lifesaving devices.

The final total is still being counted and a decision will be taken on how to use any extra money after the defibrillators have been bought and installed.

Donations can be given at

RAIN, hail and blustering wind made running difficult, but more than 3,500 people completed the Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday.

Woking Mayoress Hannah Thompson congratulates first woman home Emma Davis, second Lesley Locks, far right, and third Lucie Custance, far left

They streamed for over three hours from Woking Park to Jacobs Well and back, in another successful staging of the largest event of its kind in the county.

Serious club runners out to set a record or a new personal best, joggers raising money for charity and children enjoying the kids’ races braved some awful weather in the day’s three events.

There was an overall total of 4,385 finishers, in the half marathon and the five and two-kilometre races.

“The runners and organisers faced some challenging conditions, especially when we were packing up,” said Hollie Light, the Surrey Half marketing manager. “But there were some excellent performances, especially from some of the teams taking part.”

Two participants – Richard Moffat and Evie Read – are waiting for confirmation that they have broken the Guinness World Record for pushing a disabled children’s buggy in a half marathon.

With Evie being pushed by Richard around the course, they took three minutes off the current world record of one hour 35 minutes.

Teenager Evie, from Headley Down, near Haslemere, has ataxia-telangiectasia (AT), a rare genetic disease. She and friend Richard, from Ascot, were raising money for the Action for A-T charity.

An innovation for entrants this year was a pre-race meditation session in Woking Leisure Centre.

“A lot of runners get anxious before a race and this helped them relax and prepare themselves in a quiet place,” said Hollie. “There were also massage and yoga sessions for runners after the race.”

For the full story and picture feature get the 14 March edition of the News & Mail

A RUNNER from Woking is to take part in his first half marathon, inspired by a charity helping children with a rare genetic condition.

Roberto Villalobos will be raising money for Harrison’s Fund, which funds research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

CHARITY BOOST: Roberto Villalobos with his Harrison’s Fund running vest

He is stepping up his act to run the 13 miles of the Surrey Half Marathon next month.

Roberto, 26, said: “I started reading about Harrison’s Fund and thought it could be great to support this cause. No children should have to face such a big health challenge.”

The Esher-based fund was set up in 2012 by Alex and Donna Smith, after their eldest son, Harrison, was diagnosed with DMD.

A life-limiting condition, it affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away. Harrison now has to use a wheelchair to get around and his parents are hoping the charity can find an effective treatment or even a cure. Roberto, who is originally from Spain, added:

“It’s my first time trying to complete a half marathon, and my first time raising funds for a charity. I hope I do them proud.”

Harrison’s Fund is currently funding 16 research projects in the US and the UK. Its events fundraiser, Laura Morgan, said: “It’s wonderful to hear from people like Roberto how much our cause resonates with them.

She added: “We want children with Duchenne to have hope for the future.”

The Surrey Half Marathon is on Sunday 10 March, following a route from Woking Park to Jacobs Well and back. To sponsor Roberto, search for his name at

For the full story get the 21 February edition of the News & Mail