FLEET-FOOTED youngsters have narrowly missed out on a world record.
The group of 29 pupils from Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate took part in the World Marathon Challenge – and fell agonisingly short of breaking the record.
The target for them and other school groups from across Surrey was to beat the world marathon time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 38 seconds, set last September by Kenyan athlete Patrick Makau in the Berlin Marathon.
The team relay involved the schoolchildren running 200-metre stints, before handing over to the next runner.
They each completed seven to nine runs, covering a total of 26.2 miles, or about 195 laps of the school's track. And the Royal Alexandra team came home first in the hugely impressive time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 47 seconds, missing the world record by just nine seconds.
The runners, consisting of 13 girls and 16 boys from Year 8, crossed the line first out of six participating schools at Guildford's Spectrum Sports Arena on October 2.
They finished more than two minutes clear of the runners-up, Hinchley Wood School in Esher.
PE teacher at the Rocky Lane school Victoria King said: "It was a brilliant effort by all the pupils who took part.
"They were amazing and a real credit to the school.
"The children were absolutely delighted to win, and were presented with medals and certificates for their efforts.
"They could not believe it though when they were told that they fell just nine seconds short of the record, and were obviously a little gutted."
Mrs King said the school has traditionally been strong in athletics, generally faring well in district sports competitions.
The event formed part of this summer's annual P&G Surrey School Games, which involved thousands of county schoolchildren competing in more than 100 sports events, ranging from indoor rowing to orienteering.