High School

Staff member at Banbury school raises money for playground with amazing ultramarathon effort

Banbury woman Rachel Piper finished 1st in the Robin Hood ultramarathon.

Rachel Piper, who works at the Frank Wise school in Banbury, completed the Robin Hood 100 one hundred mile race in a fantastic time of 18 hours and 13 minutes, which placed her as the fastest female runner and third overall.

This was Rachel’s fourth ultramarathon effort after making the transition from marathon running a few years ago. However, this time she had an extra incentive to get to the finish line.

This race not only provided Rachel with the opportunity to set some personal records, it was also an opportunity to raise money for the school to buy some new adapted play equipment for the primary school’s playground.

Rachel in the middle, now sets her sights on completing a one hundred and fifty mile race next year.

Rachel said: “I decided to raise some money for the Friends of Frank Wise as I knew this would fill me with extra determination when the miles got tough. Frank Wise really is the most amazing school to work at, and the children inspire me so much every day.

“I had the most amazing adventure, but I won’t lie there were times when everything was screaming at me to stop! At ninety miles it took everything I had to keep smiling and putting one foot in front of the other. I really did think about all the people who had so generously sponsored me and all the awesome children that I am lucky enough to support every day. I just wanted to cross that finish line knowing I had given it my all and I really did!”

The race covers one hundred tough miles that is made up of mostly trail paths and canal towpaths inside Robin Hood’s homeland, including two loops of Sherwood Forest.

Rachel, who runs with the Cherwell Runners and Joggers, hopes that her running achievements will inspire the children at her school.

She said: “Even if it’s seeing me head out for a run on my lunch hour. Everyone is capable of amazing things and I love seeing children and friends achieve their goals.”

Rachel now hopes to take on new running challenges, including her dream event, the one hundred and 50-mile Spartathlon race in Greece next year.

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