South West’s Fastest Teacher

In partnership with:


1Mr. RidlerThe Maynard School, DevonWhen he’s not in the labs as Head of Science, Mr. Ridler takes to the track – he’s a dedicated runner who often shares his love of sport with his family. You might have also seen him performing as one of the iconic members of the school’s very own cover band, The Maynard Street Boys. Scientist, athlete, performer… and soon to be the South West’s Fastest Teacher?
2Mr. HodgsonShaldon Primary School, Devon“Running is my therapy! I run once a week with a fellow teacher friend (2 or 3 times in the holidays!) and we use it as our weekly therapy session, making sense of the week and listening to each others’ worries. The fresh air, the exercise and the scenery melt away the worries for another week.

I’ve been running since I was a little boy, representing my school for sprinting. The 100m sprint was my race and I loved to compete. Over the years the distance has increased and the time has decreased!

I ran the 2012 London Marathon which was a lifelong dream – never again though!”
3Mr. TomlinsonBournemouth Collegiate School, Dorset“Running started as a hobby during COVID – I did an online 10K race and caught the bug of getting medals (my kids are very impressed thinking I’ve won every race, which I most certainly haven’t!!)

Several half marathons later I now am aiming to run in the London Marathon!”
4Mr. ClementsBeaminster School, Dorset“I took up running in 2012 never thinking I could do a 5K. I wanted to be a healthy parent for my two young children and that was the kick that got me out of the door. It spiralled from there. 5K’s, 10K’s and then towards my first marathon in 2016. I have since run about 130 marathon distances, some of which are races, most are training runs and some are ultra distances. I have multiple ultra running podiums including a 3rd at my first 50 miler and 3rd at my first 100 miler… I may not be the fastest teacher over 10K, but I can do distance…

If I win the race, it’ll be because other people didn’t turn up! I don’t do speed now!…”
5Mr. WylieTeign School, Devon“I enjoy racing in multi-sports (triathlon & duathlon) & love running competitively & purely for the escape & time outside.

If I were to win I would use it as an opportunity to inspire the next generation of runners & multi-sport athletes at Teign & in our wider primary network. It would be amazing to let them realise there aren’t any barriers to getting outside & putting one foot in front of the other to help them feel more positive.”
6Mr. WagstaffBeaminster School, DorsetMr. Wagstaff has been running for 30 years, with 15 marathons, a couple of ultra’s and a full Ironman distance triathlon under his belt. He was also the Sydney Paralympic Guide Runner for Tracey Hinton (200m and 400m bronze, 800m silver)!
7Mr. LuxaLink Academy Trust, Devon“Bonkers keen runner over any distance, road and trail. Always loved the feeling of freedom running gives me.

If I win I will constantly rub it in the faces of the children I teach.”
8Mr. WilkinsThe Castle School, Somerset“I was never any good at ball sports at school. I’d always run, but a teacher during my A-Levels suggested I joined his running club. The first time we went out I came in second, and I was hooked. I’ve run for the last 30 years and it’s great for stress relief, thinking and general health.”
9Mr. Womersley-WestlakeClyst Vale Community College, Devon“I initially took up running to lose weight but have since taken part in a number of races. I did manage to lose almost 7 stone in weight and have completed many races up to 58km in distance and I am currently 4 weeks away from a 100km ultra marathon.

My long-term aim is to get fit enough to enter the Montane Dragons Back Race before my 50th birthday.”
10Mr. LarkhamMount Kelly, Devon“Running offers enjoyment. The stress release, the exploration, the competition, the achievement. For me, running is meditation. I am humbled and honoured to begin this year’s London Marathon alongside the elite runners.”
11Mr. GoodmanMalmesbury Park Primary School, Dorset“I secured a place in the London Marathon in 2019 and joined my local running club to help get in shape. From that point on I had the running bug. I love running as part of a group, challenging myself and reaching those personal bests.

If I were to win I would use that to inspire the students within my school to show that anything is possible no matter what your starting point is.”
12Mr. GibsonExminster Community Primary School, Devon“I have run nine marathons and numerous half marathons recently winning the Exeter Half Marathon – beating Chris at The Maynard. 😉

I would use the title of the fastest teacher to promote running and healthy lifestyles across the region and for school children and within the teaching community.”
13Mr. StradlingChilthorne Domer Church School, Somerset“Running started as a way to clear my head and quickly turned into a passion. It’s become my therapy session and training ground, both physically and mentally.

Winning (although unlikely, looking at the current entrants) would be incredible, but the real win is inspiring my students to prioritise their wellbeing. Just like seeing a strong runner motivates me, I want to show them that anyone can find strength and confidence through running.”
1Ms. GillespieFourlanesend Community Primary School, Cornwall“My name is Ayesha Gillespie and I started running when I was 14, informally. I am now a member of my local club – Tamar Trotters. I’ve always run but last year I did the entire Cornish Grand Prix series and came 3rd woman overall and first in my age. I completed all 13 races too. I do park run weekly; I often volunteer or take part. My best park run is 21.05. I have done the London marathon in October 21 in 5 hours 45. I have since worked super hard and dedicated a lot of time to training properly and in November 23 I did the Cornish marathon in 3 hours 43. A huge improvement. I’ve also had two race PB’s this year in the Exeter First Chance 10k and the well known Looe 10 – hillish and hellish!

If I won I’d be overjoyed and hopefully inspire some more of our school children to get involved with the cross country and other running events/sports.”
2Mrs. JonesWithycombe Raleigh C of E Primary School, Devon“I discovered running late in life (My mid 30’s). A group of teachers at my school decided to sign up for a Race for Life Event… I didn’t want to be last so I did a bit of training. I found that I really enjoyed running, getting faster and it was also good for my stress levels.

I progressed to 10k, half marathons and my first marathon in 2017-where I broke 4 hours.

I have now completed 8 marathons with my most recent one being a PB – 3 hours 32 minutes…not bad for an old lady (51).”
3Ms. BrownTeign School, Devon“I only began running seriously in June 2023 after always believing that I couldn’t run for longer than 20 minutes without stopping. I initially worked towards a park run (5K) and then after a couple of months of regularly running park runs on Saturdays, I decided to sign up for a half marathon. Fast forward to March 2024 – I have run 2 half marathons, 28 park runs and I have 4 more races lined up for this year. I am aiming to run a marathon next year!

Through entering this race, I hope to inspire my students to believe that they are capable of anything they put their mind to. I also would like to spread the message to young people that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and taking on different physical challenges brings so many benefits (both physical and mental).”
4Ms. MorrisseyTeign School, Devon“I love running because no matter what level you’re at, you can set your own goals and keep finding ways to improve. We are all runners, whether we’re speeding along at the front or at a slower pace behind, and a 10K is a 10K however long it takes to cover the distance! My favourite distance is the half marathon, but I’m currently training for a marathon and have really enjoyed pushing myself outside my comfort zone.

Being active is so important for physical and mental health, and running is so simple and accessible. Running is also a great way to develop your mental strength and determination – when the going gets tough, keep going!”
5Miss. HutchensKingskerswell C of E Primary School, Devon“I ran The Great West Run, Exeter, half marathon with some work colleagues last year. We raised money for our school. It was the second time I had run this half marathon and I wanted to beat my time from the previous year, which I did by 10 minutes. I’m not a natural runner so this was a personal accomplishment.”
6Mrs. WylieTeign School, Devon“I started running in Year 7 with an adult neighbour early in the morning before school as I wanted to be the best in PE! 🙂 I gradually increased my mileage into Sixth Form and more so at university. I never really wanted to race, it was just a zero cost easy activity to do to ensure I got a mental break from my studies and to help me stay at the top of my game in my other sports.

I didn’t enter any events until I started working as a PE teacher and these were social events that allowed me to challenge myself alongside my friends… I am absolutely not the fastest right now but I believe I am the most determined to mend my back and get back out there to be a good role model to my students.”
7Mrs. LakeTavistock Primary School, Devon“I have been running competitively for almost 10 years and before that, I was a competitive swimmer. I now also race in Aquathlons and finally won the World Aquathlon Championships in 2022… I also recently represented Devon at the National Cross Country Championships 2024 in Nottingham, where my daughter also raced in the 15 and up age group.

I love inspiring the pupils at our school. We have a superb cross country group with record numbers now attending… I also help with lots of community events involving all the local schools and I am part of the local athletics club.

The parents and staff at school often joke with me saying they always see me running around the local streets and I’m Tavistock’s answer to Forrest Gump! I just love running…”
8Mrs. BurmanStover School, Devon“I started running at the age of 11, representing my school. I have gone on to run over 100 races of marathon and ultra distance, including five 100 mile races. I am currently a member of Torbay Tri club and have recently been working on improving my speed over shorter distances.

I help out with the running club at Stover and if I won would continue to encourage the next generation to get involved in running as a sport.”

Coming soon – get your students to vote for who should get an automatic entry into the final!

Entry Form