L6 Pupils Take On Half Marathon Challenge for Charity

Lower Sixth pupils Tawana C and Julia Z decided to take on the challenge of running a half marathon in support of their house charities (Chess Homeless and The Sparkle Foundation). They did their research and entered the Dartford Half Marathon, due to take place on Sunday 25 February (the end of half term).

As full boarders, this presented a bit of a logistical challenge, but this was turned into an opportunity, as the school sent an invitation round for staff to take part in the race!  As the volunteers came forward, Dartford suddenly changed their date to September, due to issues in getting permission to close roads for the race.

Fortunately, an alternative race was found and Tawana and Julia will now be running at Wokingham, along with Martha L, Year 13 (running for the Felsted Mission).

We caught up with Tawana, Julia and Martha to find out how their training is going so far and to hear a little more about why they entered:


"I decided to enter the half marathon for a few reasons. First, I wanted to challenge myself physically and mentally. Running a half marathon is no easy feat, and I tried to push myself out of my comfort zone and see what I could achieve. I also wanted to lead by example to younger year groups within Gepp's, and as a Head of House, by attempting something like this, I can show that anything is possible.

I have never done anything like this before and the furthest I had run previously was 5k. I am determined to keep up with my training routine and ensure I am fully prepared for the half marathon. I want to raise money for CHESS Homeless to help make a difference in the lives of people experiencing homelessness. If there's one thing you can do to make a difference in someone's life today, it's to donate. As Nelson Mandela once said, "It always seems impossible until it's done." So, let's step out of our comfort zones, take action, and make a difference in the world."


"I started running during lockdown and found it really helped with my mental and physical health. More recently, I've wanted a personal challenge to push myself, so I entered the half marathon to combine my passion for running with the opportunity to help others. As Head of House, I also wanted to set a good example and further support our house charity, The Sparkle Foundation, which was founded by OF Sarah Brook to provide education, medication and nutrition to vulnerable children, youth and the wider community in Malawi."


"I had been looking to do a race competitively and was interested in fundraising when I heard about Tawana and Julia's plan to do the half marathon - so I was keen to join them.

I am involved in the Charities Team and recently visited the Felsted Mission where I was moved by the personal story of one individual; he was working as a waiter in a coffee shop, an office cleaner in the evenings and also helping on a construction site. The problem is that many people like him are stuck in zero hour contracts, with minimum wage pay and the housing in London being too few and/or too expensive - despite him working three jobs. 

Felsted Mission, as well as being a homeless shelter, providing hot food and a bed, also helps individuals to get advice, help with training and finding them a permanent roof over their heads. By donating, even a small amount would mean a lot to those in need - giving them a chance they wouldn't otherwise have."

A team of staff will be running with them, made up of the following:

Richard Castle, Luke McIlvenna, Amanda Little, Francis Barrett, Elliott Grant, Olivia Grant, Josaiah Castle, Richard Williams, Sharlene Knightley and Chris Townsend.

The staff will be running in support of all the house charities. If you would like to support any of the three pupils or any of the House Charities, please do click on their links below:

Martha - Felsted Mission

Tawana - CHESS Homeless

Julia - The Sparkle Foundation

Farleigh Hospice

Magic Bus UK

Young Minds Trust

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Teach Uganda