Keen runner Ben Berrimen is inspiring Chifley College Shalvey Campus students to hit the track.
The deputy principal, Mr Berrimen was the talk of the school this month when he ran more than 50 kilometres on cross country day.
The 42-year-old began his opening lap with the first group of the day and didn’t stop for five hours – completing 50.4 kilometres in the process.
“I certainly enjoy running,” he said. “I’ve been running since I was eight and do a lot of marathons.
“For me it’s my relaxation activity. It helps me unwind.”
Although an impressive individual feat, Mr Berrimen said his efforts were aimed at promoting physical activity among students.
“The reaction was excellent,” he said.
“I was running through recess and lunch and a lot of students were standing on the edge of the track egging me on.
“Some of the cross country groups were running alongside me having a chat. It was really great to see.”
Mr Berrimen said running formed an key part of a school program aimed at encouraging goal-setting, commitment and resilience.
Students involved in the Run Beyond Project class, taught by Mr Berrimen, will work towards competing in a short course cross country event in Lawson later this year.
Local businesses sponsored the deputy principal’s run on May 5, with all proceeds going towards the program.
“We had three girls try it out last year and they all spoke really highly about it,” Mr Berrimen said.
“A few of our kids come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, so it’s a good opportunity for them to learn skills to overcome adversity.”
He said sport gave staff “a real opportunity to build positive relationships” with students.
“Sometimes as a teacher you are making decisions that students don’t like. But once you’ve got that good relationship, at least they know you’re working for them.”