A TEACHER ran for four hours to visit all of her pupils who have missed her during lockdown.

Anne Hoeb, a year one teacher at Thundersley Primary School, is training to run a marathon around Benfleet at the end of June.

The 46-year-old is running to raise money for her friend Anna Wilson, who is sadly fighting terminal cancer.

The 39-year-old mum of two is having chemotherapy and the money will go towards therapies and nutritional care.

As part of her training Ms Hoeb, who has been teaching her pupils remotely from a campervan in her garden, was set to do a longer run, and decided to visit her pupils in “The Frog Class” while training.

She said: “I was thinking how I could maybe squeeze in seeing them while also training.

“We have a Google class group where I contacted parents, and I drew up a map of the route, I had around 30 stops.

“It was absolutely amazing, you could see how excited they got when I rounded the corner, a lot of them had banners and made posters.

“While I stopped for my rest, they would jog on the spot, so I felt like they were with me on this trip.

“It was so emotional and lovely to see them, I’m welling up thinking about it.

“For the children this is a big chunk of their lives that has been changed because of lockdown. It’s a big change and they need support.”

Ms Hoeb ran 16 miles around Benfleet, Thundersley and Hadleigh on Friday.

One of her pupils was Delilah Stone, six, in Thundersley.

Mum Sam Bilkey, 33, said: “It was such an emotional morning for them, they really loved seeing her.

“Mrs Hoeb has been so supportive but she went the extra mile and drew a heart in chalk on our driveway.

“The children need some good news in these times and something to look forward to.”

Ms Hoeb’s “Anna-thon” for her friend will take place on June 27, and will follow a similar route around Benfleet and Thundersley.

Her aim is to raise £5,000 for Anna and her family, and has so far raised £3,800.

Ms Hoeb added: “It’s going up every day, I can’t quite believe it.

“ can’t quite conceive how to get through chemotherapy, never mind keeping on top of all the thoughts and worries for the future that are associated with any form of cancer.

“However, there’s one worry we can help ease a little, money.

“It seems crass to have to think about money when faced with such adversity, but normal life carries on, and sadly so do all the usual niggles.

“My beautiful generous friend deserves something less to think about and this is my way of trying to help. It might just end up being a drop in the ocean, but it’s a start.” Donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/annathon.