PRIMARY school children raised over £550 after running a marathon in a day.

The collective effort by children from Croft Church of England Primary, near Darlington, saw them running laps of the playground in stages throughout the day to collectively make up 26.2 miles.

They were running in support of teacher Nicola Bleasby’s brother Michael and cousin Tom Walker, both 24, who were running ten marathons in ten days across the 260-mile length of The Gambia to raise money for Mind, the Darlington cancer unit, and several charities in the African country.

The children’s sponsorship efforts will go towards the same charities.

Pupils from the school council calculated how many laps each of the 112 children would have to do to make up the 26 miles.

But Miss Bleasby said winter bugs meant many children were off sick that day, and so the pupils worked together to make up the shortfall.

She said: “It was lovely because they really all worked together to get it done. The school council measured the distance of the playground and calculated out how far everyone should run. We had five children running at a time throughout the day and some of them did a lot more distance to try to get us up to the target - and we have raised a lot of money too.”