From those chasing a sub-hour finish to those just soaking in the atmosphere, The Armidale School will be making its presence felt at the City to Surf fun run in Sydney on Sunday with 202 students entering.
The figure equates to almost half of those eligible from the school to enter the 14 kilometre run.
An incredible 48 per cent of all students from Year 6-11 will don special singlets for the iconic event, each stepping out showing support for the work of social agency Batyr in highlighting the importance of mental health.
Joining them will be a number of staff, parents and friends of the school, boosting the TAS team to 275 runners.
Expected to be the first to cross the line for TAS is Sam Jones, of Year 10, who was just 30 seconds shy of finishing under an hour at last year’s race.
“Breaking the TAS student record of 55 minutes and 12 seconds is a bit too ambitious, but hopefully I’ll get in under 60 minutes,” he said.
“I know everyone hates Heartbreak Hill, but I actually love it – it sorts out the serious runners and gives an added incentive.”
Jones is a member of the school’s student chapter of Batyr. “Batyr and wellbeing is pretty big here at TAS, and I’m sure making mental health the focus has really contributed to there being such a big team from TAS,” he said.
The team includes 52 girls, which at 25 per cent of the school’s race entry, is directly proportionate to the number of female students in the third year of co-education.
Leading the pack for the TAS girls is again expected to be Disa Smart, who last year was the fifth TAS student across the line in a time of 68min 44sec. She was the 12th fastest overall in the girl’s 13 to 15-year category.
“It’s such an amazing atmosphere with music and drinks along the route – it really keeps you going,” she said.