Tuesday, May 1st, 2018.

South Tyne ultra marathon runner Deon Krishnan

Super human teacher Deon Krishnan ran half the length of the River Tyne in under 12 hours to complete the challenge of a lifetime for charity.

The 46-year-old assistant principal at Excelsior College ran 46 miles (70km) by the banks of the River South Tyne from its source at Garrigill in the Cumbrian North Pennines, to where the South and North Tyne rivers meet at Warden, near Hexham.

The route winding through some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery is part of The Tyne Trail Ultra offering two fully supported challenges for extreme runners.

Deon made it into work as normal at Excelsior Academy on Monday despite his Saturday exertions tracing the path of the South Tyne in one of the country’s toughest ultra marathons, even managing to squeeze in a game of golf on Sunday.

Running with former work colleagues Paul Donaghey and Steve Langley, they reached their final destination at the village of Warden in 11 hours 50 minutes, easily beating the 14-hour cut off point for competitors to complete the course.

The efforts of Deon, Paul and Steve have so far raised £2,500 for St Oswald’s Hospice. Four blisters are Deon’s only ‘battle scars’ sustained crossing moorland, marsh, forests and hills.

“When we got to the end I felt I could probably run another 10 kilometres,” said Deon.

“Just to put our efforts into perspective though, the woman who won the full race which carried on out to South Shields completed the 140 kilometres in 18 hours which was incredible.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to do it really. I’ve run a marathon a few years ago but I didn’t know if I’d make the distance.

“Out of the 60 people who entered, 12 didn’t get to the finish.”

The full verison of the South Tyne Trail ultra marathon sees competitors carry on from Warden following the river through the Tyne Valley until it reaches the sea at South Shields – an epic 87 mile run from start to finish.

“The scenery was absolutely stunning on the route and made me feel proud to be a South African Geordie,” said Deon.

“We had to take on lots of mountain fuel at the fuelling stations. One of the organisers was a proper trail runner and he made big pots of boiled potatoes soaked in butter and rock salt.

“They tasted out of this world, I’ve never enjoyed potatoes more!”

Deon will be using his ultra marathon experience as the basis for school assemblies, talking with pupils about setting goals and striving for them – and the feeling of elation when you achieve a feat you thought out of reach.