A CHESTER school teacher is to run around the clock in a gruelling 24-hour charity ultra marathon.

Montana Hull, who teaches at Chester International School, will be taking on the gruelling feat on May 15 at 11am in aid of two worthy causes – Meningitis Research Foundation and the Orang-utan and Sun Bear conservation at Orangutan Foundation International.

Montana, a Middles Year Programme co-ordinator and Biology teacher at CIS, explained why she had chosen to raise money for the two charities.

She said: "They are both very personal and close to my heart.

"Before teaching, I started in conservation and lived in Indonesia, employed by Orangutan Foundation International.

"Seeing the battle for survival first hand and working in the conservation world, I know how difficult the situation is and the difficult odds the animals face.

"I used to look after an orphaned sun bear called Jensen, who would follow me round the sanctuary and forest. I just completely fell in love with the little bear cub. I miss their world. So I want to help them, even being far away!

"The second charity is the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF). A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Sarah, and after we became friends, I learnt about the tragic loss of her two-year-old daughter, Millie, to the disease.

"I have seen how it impacts Sarah everyday, and the pain she carries from that. It affected everyone close to Sarah, including my one of my closest friends (who I know Sarah through) and the lasting grief, pain and sadness is awful.

"Last year as a group, we were going to do the Three Peaks in Millie's memory for MRF, but due to Covid it was cancelled.

"This challenge means I am able to give back and do something in memory for Millie.

"Another source of inspiration is the students I teach! I want to show them that you can face challenges that seem impossible at first and that we are capable of so much more.

"I have students already who are very interested in what I am doing and have started up running. That's why you get into teaching really, it's all about inspiring the next generation to grown up."

The 24-hour challenge would be intimidating to even seasoned runners, but for Montana, it'll be extra tough as she admitted she had not run beyond a marathon distance before.

She said: "I have always enjoyed pushing myself mentally and physically, although I have never attempted anything this difficult before.

"I have never ran beyond a marathon, so 3-4 back to back will certainly be a big challenge.

"Also, two years ago I fell during a climbing competition, tearing my lateral collateral ligament and meniscus, meaning I couldn’t run for 10 months. It's been a long and difficult road back to running long distance, but I am training hard for this challenge and am looking forward to it."

Montana will be running a six-mile loop comprising a mixture of road and trail near her parents' house in Betws-y-coed, which she said includes two hill ascents, just to make the challenge harder!

She added the support she has received so far has been "amazing", adding: "The school community is right behind me and we have already shared my plans with our community.

"The students are very intrigued and I get questioned about it a lot! I am also lucky enough to have a super supportive friendship group, (many of which I work with) who will be helping me out on the day (Covid permitting).

"One of my closest friends is training and running with me, helping share the challenge and will be co-ordinating things on the day. She is brilliant!

"My family are also very supportive of my challenge and will be there on the day helping out."