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Kirkby College takes on fitness and fundraising charity challenge

Kirkby College takes on fitness and fundraising charity challenge

9 March 2013

A teacher from Kirkby College in Kirkby-in-Ashfield is taking time out from the classroom to complete a gruelling 100-mile running challenge whilst fundraising for PCRF.

Andrew Hodgson (right) competing against a student

Andrew Hodgson has been a Modern Languages Teacher at Kirkby College for 13 years and is well known in the school for being fit and active. So, when Andrew decided to run 100 miles over three days to raise money for PCRF and The Rainbows Hospice, he also asked the students and his fellow teachers to get involved – and they’ve all risen to the challenge.

On Friday 8 March a curtain-raising event in the foyer of Kirkby’s Festival Hall leisure centre took place to kick-start Andrew’s fundraising where he ran a marathon on a treadmill, competing against a team of 26 Year 11 students running one mile each. Andrew is an experienced triathlete, competing regularly until last year when elbow surgery curtailed his cycling and swimming activity. “I was left with only running, so instead of plodding around to keep fit I decided to set myself a challenge and raise money for an important charity at the same time,” he says.

Andrew chose to support PCRF in memory of Nick Ellis - the father of his childhood friend Matt - who died of pancreatic cancer in 2010. “It was a big shock to see the health of a fit and active man like Nick deteriorate so rapidly. It was even more shocking to learn of the survival rates for pancreatic cancer and the fact that they haven’t improved in 40 years. PCRF is trying to address this by funding research into the disease and finding a cure.”

The main part of Andrew’s challenge will start on Friday 22 March when he sets off to run 100 miles over three days along canal paths, from Kirkby College to the Birmingham area. Day One will cover the 45 miles to Loughborough and Andrew will have some company for this leg as a team of six fellow teachers will be joining him. Back at Festival Hall, Kirkby College students will be taking part in a day of sporting activities, including trying to beat Andrew’s 100 mile distance – but on treadmills.

“Festival Hall staff have been really supportive of these events,” says Andrew. “They’ve given up their time to organise activities, raising the profile of my challenge and the charity and also motivating the students to get active and stay active – not only for these events but in the longer term. It’s also fantastic to see the students so enthusiastic and willing to take part and each year group has been asked to raise at least £100 to help reach my £2,000 target. I’ve no doubt that they’ll come through with flying colours and I only hope that I can do the same!”

If you would like to sponsor Andrew and the Kirkby College students, please go to

Photo: Andrew Hodgson (right) running against a Kirkby College student (courtesy of Mansfield Chad)

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