A trio of teachers, Headmaster Ian Silk, Ed Loader (97-06) and Henry Taylor, along with Old Bedfordians Dermot Stephens (73-82) and Russell Gillett-Toone (74-82), took to the streets of London on Sunday 3 October for the 40th London marathon.

It had been a long wait for the three teachers after the postponement of the original marathon race due to the pandemic. Speaking ahead of the world-famous race. Mr Silk explained, “We [Mr Silk and Mr Loader] were supposed to complete the marathon before the pandemic started, so we have had a bit of a delay. We are running to support the Bedford Hospital Charity. Currently, they are raising money for a new children’s A&E unit, including a state-of-the-art CT scanner. The hospital has supported students from Bedford School for many years, so we are delighted to do our bit to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. The charity was one of our House Charities recently, and funds raised paid for sleeping chairs for parents who visit their children whilst in hospital. We are keen to carry on supporting this type of work.”

Mr Loader was also keen to stress that the two did not have running backgrounds, so they were not aiming to break any records but rather make it around for a fantastic cause. And make it round they did–Mr Loader with a time of 3:28 and Mr Silk in 5:16. Mr Loader commented, “It was tough, but an amazing thing to have done”

Mr Taylor, Pemberley Housemaster, was also running for a charity the school has supported for several years: Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). Before the race, he told us, “I am incredibly proud to be running for this wonderful charity. CRY is committed to preventing young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families. When it came to choosing a charity, it simply made sense to support CRY.”  Mr Taylor achieved the incredible time of 2:49 and is already inspired to do it all again! 

If you would like to show your support for the teachers, you can visit their fundraising pages below.

Mr Silk and Mr Loader – Bedford Hospital Charity

Mr Taylor – Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY)

We were also delighted to see Old Bedfordians, Dermot Stephens (73-82) and Russell Gillett-Toone (74-82), taking part. Dermot, who ran for  Cancer Research, explained that he chose the charity as “my elderly father is currently going through surgery on his third bout of cancer. I have run the London Marathon once before (1991) and I was determined to beat my 27-year-old self by applying experience over-exuberance of youth! I’m pleased to say that I ran it in 3 hours 26 minutes which was 19 minutes faster than I did 30 years ago!”

Russell chose to run for The British Red Cross and achieved the astonishing time of 3:18!  The Old Bedfordian has run quite a few London Marathons in recent years on behalf of Bowel Cancer charities as two school friends (Mark Sunderland and Jon Wear) sadly died from this horrible disease.’

If you would like to show your support for the Old Bedfordians, please visit their fundraising pages below

Dermot Stephens (73-82) – Cancer Research UK 

Russell Gillett-Toone (74-82) – British Red Cross 

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