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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Cumbrian pupils break Olympic legend's running record

Olympic legend Steve Cram put a brave face on it as his cherished world record was smashed at a Cumbrian school.

Steve Cram photo
Pupils at Austin Friars St Monica's with Steve Cram

The Jarrow Arrow wasn’t too disappointed because it took a relay a team of teenage fliers at Austin Friars St Monica’s School to beat his long standing 1,500 metre world record time of 3.29 by about seven seconds.

A mighty cheer erupted when the three times world record holder arrived at the school on Etterby Scaur.

He laughed and joked with students as he visited the school as part of his role as ambassador to Clydesdale Bank.

Steve said: “The Olympics have got so many young people interested in sport and it’s given it a new impetus. Schools like this one are incredibly important.

“School was where I started learning and had my introduction to sport.

“I am up for anything that encourages a school and youngsters to take part in sport.”

George Sims, 16, who was on the boys’ relay team, said: “It’s pretty amazing, and I am very proud of what we have achieved.

“He’s an Olympic legend and I listened to his commentary during the games.”

But the girls, who were trying to beat Paula Radcliffe’s personal best of 8.22 in the 3,000 metres, came in at 9.07.

Maria Temple, 16, said: “It’s disappointing that we didn’t smash her record but it was good just to be part of it, and it makes you realise how hard they work.”

Jeremy Tiffen, the director of sport, said he hoped the event would show the students just how fast top class athletes had to run, and how hard they worked to achieve their goals.

“When you see it on television you have no concept of the pace” he added.

Steve also revealed that even he had not fulfilled all of his sporting ambitions.

He told students about how he had dreamed of playing for Sunderland before discovering his talent for athletics at his school.

He also told them that doing well in sport was not simply about talent but also about “sheer hard graft”.

Headmaster Matt Harris said: “We are privileged to be able to host him and very grateful to the Clydesdale Bank for suggesting it.

“This event is completely in sync with how we promote an aspirational approach to everything we do, not just inside the classroom but also in our extracurricular programme.”

David Hannon, head of Carlisle’s business centre for the Clydesdale Bank, added that they were “delighted” to be associated with the school and also with the local community.

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