FIRST off the blocks to confirm they are entering teams in uniform for the Great Samaritans Race on 7 September at Weymouth College are schoolteachers!

Pictured here is Tanya Eagleton, one of a team of runners drawn together by Dale Rhodes, Schools Partnership Development Director for Weymouth and Portland.

Says Dale: "We are delighted to be running and to play our part in a fun way to help support a charity which goes on working away in the background, year after year, and clearly does vital work for individuals and the community as a whole. So far we know of eight teachers running in teachers' uniform, and we will welcome any additions to this. And we are hoping our entry will trigger other community groups into doing something similar."

Through her network of contacts with Weymouth schools Dale Rhodes is also promoting participation of children into the 3 children's races being run on the Sports Ground at Weymouth College as part of the Day's events.a race for 8-10 year-olds, one for 11-13s and a Fancy Dress Fun Run for children aged 0-7. Every participant in the children's races receives a Samaritans Great Race Day medallion with neck ribbon.

"We expect many children will want to cheer their teachers off at 10am, perhaps then participate in a children's race, and then cheer all the 7 mile runners home again" says John Grantham, Marketing Director of the Race.

"The whole event is shaping up excellently" says Race Committee Chairman and Samaritan Jennie Brown, "and we expect that next week another group will announce it too is running in uniform. We anticipate there will be several hundred participants on the Day. Race entries are now coming in - including from our main sponsor, Magna Housing Association. We would ask those intending to run to let us have their forms as soon as possible, benefit from the advance discount, and enable us to get their Runners packs to them. Also The Great Samaritans Race Raffle - offering "10 Prizes of Luxury Dinners for 2" in some of Dorset's top restaurants and hotels (details in leaflet) has now been launched - prizes will be drawn about midday on Race Day."

Those wanting details/entry form for the 7 mile, 3 mile Scenic' and three children's races can go to the Entry Form or phone the Race Secretary on 01305-813046 for a leaflet.