Highlands and Islands pupils invited to break marathon world record

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Secondary school pupils in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to take part in the World Marathon Challenge and join schools from 50 other countries to attempt to break the marathon world record time of two hours, three minutes and 38 seconds.

The challenge – organised by leading children’s charity Save the Children – takes place during October and aims to raise money to help save children’s lives in the world’s poorest countries.

Neil Mathers, Save the Children’s Head of Scotland, said: “Every year more than seven million children die from easily preventable causes like diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia.

“By taking part in this event, children in Scotland can make a real difference to help their peers in poorer countries.”

He continued: “The World Marathon Challenge is a fantastic event for children to get involved in. The great thing about this event is that schools don’t need to have a professional running track to take part – they can do it anywhere.

“This is a unique opportunity for children in Scotland to compete against schools all over the world.”

The World Marathon Challenge began in 2008 and last year more than 20,000 children across 45 countries took part in the event.

From Australia to Afghanistan and New Zealand to Nepal, school children will attempt to break the world record by running the full 26.2miles in relay teams.

Participants run 200m sections between six and nine times to make up the full marathon distance.

Thirty-two schools from across Scotland have already signed up to compete in the race from Shetland to Stranraer.

And since 2008 schools around the world have managed to beat the marathon world record, with Kenyan children being the fastest, setting an incredible time of one hour, 47 minutes and 55 seconds.

Primary school pupils can take part in an alternative 1,500m challenge; and for more information about the World Marathon Challenge and free school resources, visit www.savethechildren.org.uk/wmc