SCHOOLCHILDREN from Huddersfield have ‘smashed’ the world marathon record.
Pupils from Scissett Middle School and Kirkburton Middle School completed the 26-mile race in 200-metre relays at Leeds Road Playing Fields, yesterday, to ‘break’ the 2hr 03.38min world record set by Patrick Makau Musyoki.
Musyoki, of Kenya, hit the record books at the Berlin Marathon 2011 last month.
But team Kirklees Kings bettered Musyoki’s effort, with a combined time of 2:00:43.
And despite strong gusts of wind, team Kirklees Knights, comprising pupils from Holmfirth High School and Honley High School, followed closely behind with a total time of 2:03:49.
The teams of year seven and eight pupils were taking part in the international World Marathon Challenge run by the Amateur Athletics Association and worldwide charity Save The Children.
Over 20 English school teams took part this year alongside young teams from New Zealand, China, Spain, Ireland, Canada and Gaza, Palestine.
World champions this year were Kenyan schools who completed the marathon in 1:51:52.
Kirklees Sports Development Officer Andy Cook organised the Huddersfield run.
He said: “I think we’d be the best in Britain if it wasn’t for the wind.
“It was quite difficult conditions which were adding three seconds per relay.
“The effort of the children was fantastic and they all enjoyed it.”
Upcoming Paralympic and world wheelchair race record holder Hannah Cockroft from Halifax was there to spur on the runners.
Hannah, who is tipped for a medal at the London 2012 Paralympics, said: “I really enjoy events like this because they bring people together around the world and give them a taste of an international competition. It’s lots of fun and good for teamwork.”
Among the runners was 12-year-old Katie Clarkson from Scissett Middle School.
She said: “I’ve had fun today. It’s a big challenge and we got out of school today for it!”
Lucy Howarth, 12, from Kirkburton Middle School, added: “I thought it went OK. I was very happy to be picked for this.”
Bradley Bedford, also 12, from Holmfirth High School, added: “I enjoyed my run today and I’m looking forward to running again.”