FOR Claire Court and her fellow runners on Team Thomas, this year’s Oxford Half Marathon isn’t about achieving a personal best time or realising a life-long ambition.

Instead she wants to raise money and awareness in memory of Bicester boy Thomas Laurie, who died of a premature ageing disorder in February, aged nine.

The Running for Thomas Laurie campaign, set up by family friend Ewan Gordon in 2012, raises money for charities dedicated to supporting families affected by Cockayne Syndrome.

Next year Mr Gordon will run from John O’Groats to Lands End dressed as Forrest Gump as part of his fundraising efforts.

Mrs Court, 39, who taught at Langford Village Primary School when Thomas was a pupil there, said: “This is my seventh half marathon and I’m running up to 30 miles a week as training.

“But this time it isn’t about a personal best, I just want to go and enjoy it and raise awareness.

“We want to raise as much money as possible and as much awareness as possible.”

The mum-of-two from Bicester will be running with temporary butterfly tattoos on her arm, representing children who have lost their fight with Cockayne Syndrome.

She said: “Thomas’s fantastic strength and character and the wonderful support he had from his family has been a true inspiration and it makes me want to do what I can to help.”

To sponsor Team Thomas, visit


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