Forty students and teachers at a Northumberland school are preparing to tackle the Great North Run in memory of a former student who was tragically killed in a car crash.
Ponteland High School will “Run for Rachel” in memory of Rachel Blaylock, 18, who died when the car she was travelling in hit a tree in August last year. The crash happened on the A696 north of Ponteland.
The school hopes to raise around £10,000 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
PE teacher, Gordon Grier, said: “It was a sudden and tragic loss, and we want to take the opportunity to do something positive and honour her in the right way.”
Miss Blaylock, a keen runner, had been due to take part in the 2014 half-marathon.
Mr Grier said: “She was a dearly loved, brilliant student, who was looking forward to fulfilling her ambition in tackling the run.”
Miss Blaylock’s friend, Tom Apedaile, 18, of Heddon-on-the-Wall said: “She was the best friend I had ever had and the greatest human being I have ever met. She never stopped talking about the run so we decided not to let her efforts be in vain and to see it through to completion. We want to make her proud.”
Student, Charlotte Huddart, 19, from Wideopen said: “Rachel was really into sports and tried to persuade me to do the run. I hate running but it was her favourite thing to do. She always said how funny she would find it if I ever did it, so I hope she’s laughing.”
GNAAS played a role in the rescue attempt of another Ponteland student, Victoria Wilkinson, 17, who was tragically killed in a boating accident, along with her father, at Kielder Water in 2009.
Mr Grier said: “GNAAS is a charity close to the school’s heart and we feel that raising money for such a worthy cause is the best way to pay tribute to these two wonderful and much missed students.”
The school also has plans to complete a marathon swim, cycle ride and sponsored ski all in aid of GNAAS.
To donate to the runners’ JustGiving page, click here.