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Page last updated at 10:49 GMT, Monday, 18 April 2011 11:49 UK

School Reporters at the London Mini Marathon

Paul, a member of Herne Hill Harriers running club, came first in his age group
Paul, a member of Herne Hill Harriers running club, came first in his age group

School Reporters Catherine, 12, and Anna, 13, from St Saviour's and St Olave's School in South London, were up unusually early on Sunday morning to report on this year's London Mini Marathon.

They managed to bag one of the first interviews with group winner Paul from the Herne Hill Harriers, and his coach, as well as many other successful runners.

Anna and Catherine also caught up with fellow reporters Sonali from CBBC Newsround and Colin Jackson from BBC Sport.

Just before 10:00 BST the first of the Mini Marathon finishers started to stream along The Mall, wearing different colour shirts to reflect their age groups.

Anna and Catherine spotted Max from the Herne Hill Harriers, whom they had interviewed earlier in the week about his preparations. He told them how he was "tired and pleased" to have finished and that his favourite part of the race had been the goody bag at the end!

'Hectic yet brilliant'

Next they grabbed young runner Amelia as she walked past. She had finished second in her group and was very pleased.

She said she was "pretty tired, but it was a good race with lots of encouragement." The encouragement continued as more young runners crossed the line, some exhausted and others jubilant.

Young runners Juliette and Rachel after their race
Young runners Juliette and Rachel were interviewed after they had competed

Amongst the crowd of finishers the School Reporters spotted some more runners from Herne Hill Harriers: Claire and Alfie both said that they had loved the atmosphere of the race, and Alfie added that he had enjoyed running down the final straight with all the flags on The Mall.

Georgie and Lascelles said that they were pleased but also a little disappointed with their times. Georgie said that she had been ill in the past week, and so hadn't done her best.

Lascelles said that he had started too quickly and so finished more slowly than he wanted. But both said that they would definitely be back next year!

On the Scene at the Marathon
Today has been a very hectic yet brilliant experience. At the beginning of the day we were really excited.

We did a lot of walking before we set up and started interviewing mini-marathon runners.

We caught up with some winners which we were very pleased about, and we also interviewed Newsround presenter Sonali Shah.

We were also very excited and happy about the fact that we interviewed Colin Jackson!

by Catherine, 12 and Anna, 13


All of the boroughs and regions represented by the runners had meeting places along The Mall. The young journalists made their way to the sign for Brent where they found runner and fellow School Reporter Juliette who had documented her feelings before running in the race.

Both Juliette, and her friend Rachel, also running for Brent, were pleased with their times and Juliette has run even faster than last year so was very happy!

Rachel said that running for a charity had really motivated her and Juliette added that all of the support she received made her want to do well.

Amongst the runners, the girls found Sonali Shah, CBBC Newsround presenter, who stopped to chat to them. She made Catherine and Anna laugh when she said that she had found it difficult to interview the British triple jumper Phillips Idowu as he is 6'5 and she is 5'1!


As the youngest runners finished the race the Herne Hill Harriers coach, James Mcdonald, took the time to speak to the School Report team.

He said that all of his runners had finished and that he was proud of them all. And he added: "I've heard that Paul did well...." Just as the interview finished, James got a phone call to say that Paul had, in fact, won his age group, the Under-13 boys.

Catherine and Anna took the initiative and secured one of the first interviews with Paul. He was very happy but so shocked at winning that he was almost speechless!

Then it was the School Reporters turn to be speechless as they approached Colin Jackson, former hurdling World Record holder-turned BBC Sports Presenter, for an interview.

School Reporters with Colin Jackson
Colin Jackson shared tips with School Reporters on running and presenting

Catherine and Anna kept their cool asking Colin how he would be feeling were he running the marathon, and the differences between competing in sport and reporting on it.

He said that the key to competing successfully was preparation and the right mental attitude, and that reporting involved preparing in a completely different way. He also shared some top tips on reporting with the girls. Listen to the whole interview here .

As the young runners made their way home, School Reporters Catherine and Anna reflected on the day. Both agreed that it was quite tiring being a journalist, and involved lots of running after people and finding the best reporting positions.

However, they did concede that it probably wasn't as tiring as running a marathon!


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