Former Paralympian and amateur runners break world record at Snaresbrook school

A team of parents, pupils, teachers and a former Paralympian have broken a running world record at a Snaresbrook school.

The 12-strong group smashed the previous record for the longest distance run on a single treadmill in 24 hours by nearly 15km, with a total of 437.7km.

From 12.30pm on Wednesday (4) to 12.30pm Thursday (5), the team ran in a constant relay in a marquee in the playing field at the Forest School.

Team captain and school parent John Macnamara had trained the group hard for the attempt.

After finishing the record he said: “I feel elated, and a bit tired!

“A tremendous team effort - the team persevered in spite of injuries and just kept on going.

“A massive thank you for all of the support, this would not have been possible without it.”

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Visually-impaired former Paralympian and school patron Noel Thatcher said breaking the record was “incredible”.

He added: “As we came to the point we broke the record we had the entire school in front of us on the field chanting our names.

“It was one of the most memorable moments of my career. It was as good as winning gold medals, at least on a par.

“To be part of a team was so special for everybody.”

Noel said disaster almost struck when runner and PE teacher Emma Ramsay had to go off with a leg injury.

But she stayed with her team-mates through the night to cheer them on.

Noel said: “Most people were injured somewhere along the line.

“I think the celebrations for most people involved sleep and painkillers.”

The team had to run at a sprint speed of more than 17km per hour and change over seamlessly to break the record.

Former West Ham and Everton footballer Tony Cottee and Mike Jackson, founder of the Essex Disabled Sports Foundation, kicked off the attempt, which was watched by crowds of school pupils, staff and supporters.

The sponsored record has so far raised more than �8,500 for the Essex Disabled Sports Foundation and the Forest School Olympic Scholarship.

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