Kind-hearted Hitchin school head Steve's big 5-0 bucket list is real marathon effort

PUBLISHED: 11:43 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:50 06 February 2017

Steve Mills, Emily Dartington and Nat de Souzaschool, school council members and Gavin May, personal trainer.

Steve Mills, Emily Dartington and Nat de Souzaschool, school council members and Gavin May, personal trainer.

Archant

A popular headteacher in Hitchin is hard in training for this year’s London Marathon as he ticks the gruelling challenge off a bucket list of things to do before he hits the big 5-0.

Kind-hearted Steve Mills, head of Whitehill Junior School on Whitehill Road, has decided to run the 26.2 miles to raise money for two separate charities – Dementia UK and Keech Hospice Care.

Steve told the Comet: “Age never really bothers me but as I approach 50 – I’m 47 – I thought about a few things it’d be good to achieve or attempt. Included on my list were jumping out of an aeroplane – preferably with a parachute – running a marathon, appearing in a West End Musical, and seeing Manchester City win the Champions League.

“I partially achieved the parachute experience as, thanks to the generosity of one of last year’s Year 6 pupils – I attended a sky diving experience.

“It was a fantastic feeling and doing it made me even more determined to see it to its conclusion and try a tandem skydive.

“But, if you’ve heard me sing or seen me dance – you’d realise there’s no way on earth I’d get close to a West End stage. As for my beloved football club, only time will tell.”

Steve enjoys parkruns, but realised he needed help to step up from 5km to 26.2 miles. After a plea in one of his weekly blogs to the school’s parents, personal trainer Gavin May offered to help. Steve says Gavin’s support and encouragement has been amazing as has the support from parents who regularly chat to him in the playground about his progress – and pain.

The head adds: “The final part was to get the pupils involved. If I was 
going to put myself through the torture of completing the marathon, I wanted to run for charity. So I asked the school council to select the charities they’d like me to run for as I wanted the pupils to feel part of the challenge.

“I’m very happy to support Dementia UK and Keech Hospice Care. I’ve no idea how long it will take me to get round – as long as I do, that’s all that matters.

“Training’s going well and I’ve only needed to visit the Lister Hospital once – for three stitches on my knee after falling during a run.”

To donate to Steve’s cause, see virginmoneygiving.com/millsyblue.

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