Young fundraisers get set for half marathon challenge

LOCAL schools are putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday.

Pupils from Halstead Preparatory School for Girls in Woking and two Knaphill schools will tackle the 2km (1.2 mile) kids’ run to raise funds for good causes.

IN TRAINING – (From left to right) Alfie, James, Isla, Connie, Annabel, Mia and Malek prepare for Knaphill School’s big day

Halstead, which is sponsoring the kids’ run, is fielding a team of 30 youngsters, with a separate team of staff and parents taking on the 13.1-mile half marathon.

Knaphill will have about ten pupils lining up, with a similar number of adults running over the longer trips. There is also a 3.1-mile option open to runners aged 11 and above.

Sharon Maher, headmistress of Halstead, said: “The girls are really excited about Team Halstead taking part and that we’re fundraising for Quest Riding for the Disabled.

“We were delighted to be visited by a special guest, Diablo the pony, and the girls learnt about the valuable work Quest does in helping children and adults to experience the enjoyment of riding. Most importantly, the enormous therapeutic benefits that riding can bring.

SPECIAL GUEST – Diablo and the team from Quest meet pupils of Halstead School

“Quest is a charitable organisation wholly reliant on fundraising and donations. All its members, whether coaches, helpers or fundraisers, are volunteers.

“Diablo is just one of six ponies at Quest, and it costs about £5,000 a year per pony.” 

The Knaphill runners are raising money for the federation of schools, which includes Knaphill Lower School and Knaphill Junior School, through its parent teacher association, a charity.

“We’re running to fund some Chromebooks [laptops] and to refurbish the junior school library,” said Emily Chapman, secretary of the PTA.

“Technology is such a key component of the school curriculum now so to raise funds for our children, to have the technology to support their learning, is something we are passionate about.” 

Emily is taking the fundraising seriously. She will tackle the half marathon while her nine-year-old daughter Isla takes on the kids’ run.

Each of the races begin and end in Woking Park, and will include road closures from 7.30am to 1pm along the routes. Some roads are designated as clearways, with no stopping or waiting on the race route from 6am to 1pm.

For more details on the races, routes and road closures, visit and use either the Race Details or Event Info tab.

* TO donate to Halstead’s charity, visit

* To donate to the Knaphill schools’ charity, visit

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