Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Thatcham teacher to take on two marathons in two weeks

'Avid' runner to raise money for humanitarian aid

Thatcham teacher to take on two marathons in two weeks

A TEACHER from Thatcham is gearing up to run two marathons in the space of two weeks to aid humanitarian crises.

Francis Baily Primary School teacher Ben Schiffer-Harte will be running the London Marathon after receiving a golden bond place courtesy of Christian Aid.

Mr Schiffer-Harte and his wife Jo joined the congregation at St Mary’s Church after moving to the town and the couple said they had been welcomed into the community.

They have also helped out with fundraising events, some of which were in aid of Christian Aid.

He said: “Christian Aid had been on my radar a while because they do so much to help humanitarian crises like the Haiti disaster and the Malawi food crisis.

“Almost every continent has help in some way by this amazing charity.

“Food, shelter, medicine and infrastructure are all part of where money goes.”

The 26.2-mile run through the capital will be Mr Schiffer-Harte’s fourth London Marathon and eighth marathon in total.

“It will be my fourth time taking part and first in which I have a good chance through training and motivation to attempt the sub-three hour target.

“Something of a golden milestone for any serious runner,” Mr Schiffer-Harte said.

He will be training with local Thatcham running club Team Kennet as he aims to finish the gruelling run in three hours.

And to top it off he’ll be running the Paris Marathon only two weeks beforehand.

The keen runner has completed the Wokingham half- marathon in a 1:25:59 personal best and ran the New York Marathon in 2007.

He has also signed up for the Reading half-marathon next month.

“I teach in Year 2 and all of the class and school know of my running lifestyle.

“Some of them are even at Team Kennet, which I’m a member of.

“I coach an athletics club after school and hope to inspire the next generation of sports men and women,” he said.

Mr Schiffer-Harte wants to raise £2,000 in return for his placement and has until June to hit his target.

To help, he is organising a race night at Francis Baily School on March 3, as well getting each class to run a marathon by encouraging pupils to run a mile.

He’ll also be selling cakes at St Mary’s Church and collecting sponsorship.

To make a donation visit  

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000