Top ‘class’ of athletes through to Fastest Teacher Grand Final

Posted on June 24, 2024


World champions, elite marathon runners and local legends are all in the mix! “Who knew teachers were such a multi-talented bunch?” said Liz Gregory, Head of The Maynard School, Exeter, who is organising the inaugural “South West’s Fastest Teacher’ competition to celebrate the Olympics and inspire our classrooms to be more active.

“In total we received exactly 50 entries which was beyond our wildest dreams, and to have such a quality field has completely wowed us!”

The event is being run in partnership with the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset Schools Athletic associations, and it gave us great pleasure on Thank A Teacher Day to announce the five men and women who will come together to race in the Grand Final as part of The Balmy Bicton 10K on Sunday 7th July 2024.

Male finalists are:

  • Dom Willmore, a Maths teacher at St Peter’s Catholic School in Dorset, determined to build back fitness after a period of illness.
  • Simon Fox, a Geography teacher at Okehampton College in Devon and a keen Exeter Harrier, who loves “the challenge of improving and the great places you get to explore” while running.
  • Phil Wylie, a triathlete/duathlete PE and Science (plus primary PE) teacher at Teign School in Devon, looking to support the Teign community in getting outside for a mood boost.
  • Ben Holmes, a History teacher at Kingsbridge Community College in Devon, with ten marathons under his belt.
  • Sam Larkham, a Physics teacher for Years 9 to 13 at Mount Kelly in Devon, who began this year’s London Marathon alongside the elite runners.

Female finalists are:

  • Samantha Lake, World Aquathlon Champion of 2022 and Year 3 teacher at Tavistock Primary School in Devon, who is known locally as ‘Tavistock’s answer to Forrest Gump’.
  • Lauren Knox, a Reception teacher at Mount Street Primary and Nursery School in Devon, who leads a running club for her students so that they can run alongside her.
  • Harriet Evans, a Maths teacher at St James School in Devon, supporting other mums working on their fitness and looking forward to celebrating finishing with her one-year-old.
  • Lucy Westoby, a Science teacher at St James School in Devon, who loves the social element of training with others and hopes to share the trophy with her classes.
  • Debbie Burman, a Languages teacher for Reception to Year 11 at Stover School in Devon, who has mastered the marathon and ultra distance races and is now working on nailing shorter 10Ks.

Plus, with so many remarkable entries and beloved teachers showing their support for the competition, two extra places in the final have been added.

A social media vote on The Maynard’s Instagram story has begun this week, allowing the public to choose which entrants should join the ranks of fantastic Fastest Teacher finalists.

To find out more, click HERE.