Teacher puts on his running shoes to buy lifesaving gear
By Lyndsay Oxley - Reporter
AN Evenwood teacher is preparing to run five half marathons in five days to help raise money for an additional village defibrillator.
Paul Tucker, who teaches at Evenwood Primary School, will be taking on the challenge during the February half term break. He has set a fundraising target of £500 which he hopes to reach to fund a heart start machine which will be sited at the school.
He said: “I have run the Great North Run for charity but I wanted to do something that was a bit more of a challenge. When you’re training you might do 40 miles a week but 65 miles without a rest is going to be a challenge.”
Year five and six pupils at the school have given the fundraising drive a welcome boost after donating £100 from the profits raised from their recent enterprise project. Mr Tucker, who joined Evenwood Road Runners ten years ago, will begin the challenge on Saturday, February 15, in Shildon at the Hackworth parkrun which will be followed by a ten-mile route leading back to Evenwood. On the final day (February 19), Mr Tucker is hoping for as many people as possible, including juniors, to join him in running the last mile of the challenge.
All of the routes, which will finish in Evenwood, are being planned by fellow Evenwood Road Runner Gary Atkinson.
Mr Tucker said: “I usually train about four or five days a week. I average about 30 miles a week but building up to this I might do a bit extra. I am excited by it. It is something I have never done. Sometimes you just need that challenge.”
The life-saving device would be the second of its kind in the village.
Mr Tucker said: “There is already a defibrillator at the Randolph Community Centre. There had been an incident last year in a school where a young teacher dropped down dead at sports day. They had a heart attack. It is something that we may never use but it is there just in case. It does happen. It is good for the school but it is also good for the community.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Mr Tucker can call into the school or call the school office on 01388 832047.