The Runners of Rowan
It is so rare that you can write a weekly update whilst in the middle of a 24 hour charity event where the boys have already achieved a cumulative total of 383km (this is at 23.11 at night).
This idea was put forward during half term and thanks to Josh and Jed, it has gained in momentum and has finally been achieved. However, the actual day itself has taken on a life of its own.
As we started at 1pm on Saturday, a group of girls from Oak turned up to cheer the boys off and as we ran around the hockey astros, cheers and claps could be heard urging us to carry on through the run.
The boys had all signed up to a time sheet made by Josh and Jed, the lap had been constructed by Josh on Strava and the marquee was set up and ready to provide the boys with as many bottles of water and jaffa cakes as they may need.
The early laps were put in by Harry and Laurence with Freddie running along in his suit. However, things turned serious after games when Freddie then changed into games kit whilst Ben and Elias started to pound out the laps.
In between run sessions, boys were checking Strava for updates on who had run furthest, who had the fastest time and how much money had been donated to charity.
As of 11.34pm on Saturday night as I write, the boys are planning the next few hours, the rain is starting to fall (totally against the forecast) and we are already over the money target. I must say a huge thank you to everyone that has given money – I have done many charity events in my years in houses but there is something genuinely special about this one – it is pupil created, pupil led and they really do care about their own targets and making sure that we have the full time covered.
The house had been an active hub of activity throughout the event and in a time when the boys would be stuck in during lockdown with nothing to do – this has been the opposite of that.
On top of all of that – Hyman, Laurence, Harry and Ollie H all cooked everyone a burger on the BBQ whilst others continued the run-athon at 9pm last night. Again, pupil run and pupil delivered.
I am struggling to include the names of everyone that has given so much over just the first half of the event – Billy and Andy getting their laps in before heading home, Elias, Freddie and Luke managing over 50 kilometres, Luke D and Josh trying to outdo each other again and again and again, Will W running half a marathon, Lucas W running non-stop, James C pushing his limits and doing another quick lap before his burger, Roy and Ferapont just putting in lap after lap, Jemi and Tommy getting up in the middle of the night to put in a few more laps, Luca coming straight out of isolation to put in the hard laps, Harry and Laurence just continually trying to get ahead of each other (once by sneaking off for another lap whilst the other had a toilet break), I could go on and on and on.
Next to the office now, George K, George M, Jay, Ben S, Freddie and Jack are all getting ready to head out in the rain to do their half 11 o’clock running session.
After 24 hours of gruelling running, with several boys finishing a marathon distance: Luke D, Luke T, Freddie, Elias, Laurence, Jed and Josh – it was an amazing accomplishment. Some of these boys are runners but most of the house are just normal sporty teenage boys – they have put their heart and soul into this. When Ben had finished his 32nd lap, I asked him if he ever thought he could run this far, ‘No, sir’ was his reply. He was wrapped in his Wiltshire flag having just done his 32 laps for the 32 suicides in Wiltshire last year. Another amazing story from last night.
These boys have pushed their own expectations, they have pushed our expectations and I know that it will be a night that they will remember for many many years to come. And with over £35000 raised for Movember and over 1000 kilometres run between the group, it is an achievement of which they should be massively proud.” Jonathan Pitt, Housemaster of Rowan House