Headmaster to run marathon

Martin Pearman is cheered on by students at Ripon Grammar School before he embarks on the London Marathon
Martin Pearman is cheered on by students at Ripon Grammar School before he embarks on the London Marathon

A headmaster from Ripon is leading from the front as he trains for this year’s London Marathon.

Martin Pearman of Ripon Grammar School was inspired to enter the race for the first time to raise at least £1,500 for the Calvert Trust, a charity that provides outdoor activities for people with disabilities.

Last year a student at the school, Jenny Unwin, broke her back in an accident while cycling home from her part-time job just weeks after completing her GCSE exams.

Mr Pearman, 55, said: “Jenny’s accident prompted me to do something for an organisation that she and other young people in similar situations can use to remain active and enjoy the outdoors.

“The staff of Calvert Trust work tremendously hard to provide opportunities to help children regain their confidence and take part in activities that perhaps they thought they’d never have the chance to do again.”

Calvert Trust, which operates entirely on donations, runs three centres at Exmoor, Kielder and the Lake District where people can do climbing, horse riding, sailing and even abseiling down a cliff face in a wheelchair.

A keen sportsman who plays cricket and five-a-side, Mr Pearman has also completed the Great North Run three times.

“I really don’t know what it’s going to be like to run a full marathon,” he said.

“I’m doing three training runs a week to a total of 25-30 miles and following advice to build up to complete a 22 mile run about three weeks before the marathon itself.”

His training route around the Fountains Abbey World Heritage Site and surrounding countryside is providing inspiration for him to complete the 26-mile marathon in around four-and-a-half hours.

Mr Pearman added: “The time isn’t really that important to me, it’s more about getting round in one piece.

“My family are all coming down to London to support me, which is great, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to the marathon itself.

“The physical challenge is very demanding, as is finding the time to train. I will definitely get a sense of achievement when I finish.”

To support Mr Pearman’s fundraising effort, visit www.justgiving.com/Martin-Pearman