A TEACHER has enlisted the help of her pupils to prepare for a gruelling marathon on Sunday.

Helen Smith, from York, set up the Marathon Club at St Lawrence's Primary School in York to build up fitness for the 26.2 mile run, and has spent the last few months running with pupils before lining up at the start line of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.

Helen, who is running for York Teaching Hospital charity, said: "I was inspired to take part in the Yorkshire Marathon after some parents planted the idea in my head and I thought it would be great to raise money for a worthwhile cause.

"The Marathon Club has been tirelessly training once a week, week after week in all weathers since June.

"They have taken part in endurance runs and races on the field as well as the playground."

Since joining the club, the children have learnt to pace themselves, increase their speed and show endurance by not giving up.

Helen also believes they have stuck by the school's motto of "Together with the help of God we will try our best and never give up."

She added: "This marathon will be one the biggest challenges I have ever undertaken and I hope there will be many people along the route to cheer me on. The school motto will certainly be running through my mind!"

She is being sponsored herself by Paul Smith of Quartz Travel, who has provided her with a fluorescent orange running vest adorned with the company's logo.

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To sponsor Helen visit www.justgiving.com/sponsor-our-smith