Andrew Featherstone - North East ConnectedThere’s nothing quite like the first glimpse of the finish line when you have just covered 26.2 miles on foot.

Just ask SRC Bede Sixth Form teacher Andrew Featherstone. The 33-year-old was among those to complete the Virgin Money London Marathon.

With a personal target to reach the finish line in under four hours the Geography teacher, who is facing his own ongoing battle with ME, smashed his target with a race time of three hours, 49 minutes and 40 seconds.

Achieving a personal best by a massive 16 minutes he said: “I couldn’t believe it, I was over the moon. It was a fantastic day and I am so proud to have had the opportunity.”

A keen runner with Sedgefield Harriers Athletics Club this wasn’t the first time Andrew has tackled the marathon, but being diagnosed with ME in 2010, a disorder of the nervous system, took a toll on his running. To be able to train at marathon level once again marked a milestone.

Raising £450 for mental health charity Mind, SRC Bede Student Council’s chosen charity for the year, Andrew said: “It is amazing to able to interact with all those around you, the camaraderie is amazing as everyone supports each other.”

He added: “It is awe inspiring to think that I have once again made it to the finish line of one of the world’s biggest events.”