A SOMERSET headteacher has completed a makeshift marathon around his town in just four and half hours.

Carl Winch, headteacher of Maiden Beech Academy, completed his Virtual London Marathon around the Crewkerne area last week.

The challenging route included a 2000 ft elevation, and saw him fly past a number of Maiden Beech's feeder first schools en route, finishing at his own school.

He was cheered along the way by many parents and children, but found the most support from former parent and Chair of the Crewkerne and Ilminster Schools Partnership, Rob Treacher.

Rob had decided to run the first five miles alongside Carl, but ended up staying the course, giving him moral support and encouragement, for the whole 26.2 miles.

In the process Rob completed his very first, impromptu marathon.

Mr Winch said: “Running the Virtual London Marathon was an amazing experience. It was a privilege to support Wellchild, a charity that helps acutely ill children and their families.

"The real hero on the day was Rob whose support, throughout the duration, was fantastic. Whilst this was a virtual London Marathon, the Spirit of London shone through on the day.”

So far, he has raised around £800 for his chosen charity, Wellchild, in less than a week.

He was contacted by the charity just two weeks ago, asking him to run on their behalf when another competitor had to drop out, last minute. This isn't Mr Winch's first running fundraiser.

In 2018, he was one of eight Somerset headteachers to complete the Bristol Half Marathon in support of young people’s mental health, and that same year he raised more than £2,000 for Asthma UK with the London marathon.