Former colleagues of murdered school teacher Ann Maguire have teamed up to take on the Great North Run in her memory.
Twelve runners – including seven past and present staff from Corpus Christi Catholic College – are training for the Newcastle half marathon to raise cash for the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund.
They include retired headteacher Mike Woods and former deputy head Peter Fusco.
Mr Woods, 62, of Ossett, said: “Ann was a fantastic teacher and a wonderful colleague.
“She really cared for young people and generations of school kids owe her such a lot.
“One of her big passions was the performing arts and the family have really hit the nail on the head with the charity that has been set up.”
Mrs Maguire, 61, was stabbed to death by 15-year-old pupil Will Cornick in front of her class at the Halton Moor school in April last year.
Cornick was told he may never be released after being jailed for a minimum of 20 years at Leeds Crown Court in November.
Mr Woods said he found the news of Mrs Maguire’s death difficult to comprehend, adding: “There was a sense of complete shock and disbelief that something so tragic could happen to someone like Ann at such a great school.”
The fund, managed by Leeds Community Foundation, supports young people to progress in the performing arts.
It has raised more than £180,000 since it was set up.
The 13.2 mile Great North Run takes place next Sunday, September 13.
Mr Woods said he hadn’t run for more than 30 years before he began training for the event, but added: “I’m hoping running as part of 57,000 people will help and in the back of my mind I’ll have a picture of Ann and there will be an element that we’re doing it for her.”
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/michael-woods6