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Marathon effort fuels Olympic dream

Marathon effort fuels Olympic dream
Tuesday 4th November 2008 by C. Freeman
Sixth Former Perry Burns is a keen swimmer with his sights set on the next Olympics, but he's also boosted his training by running and recently completed his first half marathon. Perry was the only student in a trio from Brooke Weston who took part in the Birmingham half marathon. He completed the route in two hours and 10 minutes. Teacher Miss Gonda and groundsman Paul Twamley also took part.

They had been members of a larger group from Brooke Weston who took part in a 10 kilometre race around London to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust earlier this year. Now there are plans for the group to sign up for a half marathon in London next March.

Perry said: 'I did it just for the fun of running. I did wear a TCT T-shirt but it was just basic training. Two hours, 10 minutes and several blisters later I finished it! I did a bit of training but if we're going to go in for the half marathon next time around I'm going to definitely put in more hours.'

Perry's main sporting interest is swimming and he is hoping to be of a high enough standard to compete in the Olympics in 2012. He has been swimming for Corby swimming club for a decade and has represented the town and county in galas all over the country, swimming four lengths of freestyle in just 55 seconds. He trains for hours every week and intersperses his swim time with boxing training to build upper body strength and muscle tone. His running, which he fits in around weekend swimming competitions, builds his stamina still further.

Perry is studying A Levels in Design Technology, Sport and Art and he wants to study product design at university. Such is his determination to develop his sport that he is even choosing which university he wants to attend by the success of their swimming team. He said: 'I've basically looked at the list of where the top university swimming teams are as I want to go there. It's going to be a big influence, hopefully I want to strive on for 2012. That's an ultimate goal of mine; it's the pinnacle of what I can achieve.'

He added: 'You have to have quite a healthy lifestyle and I don't go out with my friends as much as I'd like but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for a goal that I want to achieve, because, for me, standing on a podium, or even just being at the Olympics in 2012, would be just phenomenal.'

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