A UTTOXETER teacher has been inspired by his pupils to pull on his running shoes once again to take part in the country’s biggest marathon.
Grahame Cope, a teacher at Picknalls First School, will be putting his body to the ultimate test as he prepares for the London Marathon on April 13.
The 43-year-old will be running for The Epilepsy Society after seeing two of his year four pupils – Jessica Bliss and Alyssa Whitehall – battle with child absence epilepsy as well as 11-year-old Oliver Davies, a pupil at Oldfields Hall Middle School who plays on the Rocester Juniors Hornets U11 football team he coaches.
It will be the fourth time he has made the trip to London for the national event which is watched by thousands of people each year.
Mr Cope said: “I have two pupils in my class diagnosed with epilepsy so I thought this would be a nice thing to do.
“I noticed my two pupils just seem to glaze over during lessons due to the epilepsy and have these absences. I really feel for this lad at football and for his parents.
“Oliver’s epilepsy is not really under control and he has a number of seizures each day.
“Running for a charity makes you want to complete the marathon even more as you are doing it for a good cause.
“The society is a worthwhile cause and anything raised will help these children. I want to do anything we can to make things easier for them and make people more aware of the condition. Most people have seen fits but are not aware of the absences.”
Mr Cope, who is a member of the Uttoxeter Road Runners, is hoping to raise £1,500 for the charity.
So far he has raised £1,084 through a stall at Cracker Night, non-uniform days, Jessica’s grandfather who raised £343 at JCB and donations to his Just Giving page. He will also be holding cake sale at the school on the April 4 and Jessica and her friends are making wristbands to sell.
To prepare himself the father-of-two competed in the Stafford 20 at the weekend and he hopes to run the marathon in under four hours.
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/GrahameCope11