Mayfield School alumni set to honour late headteacher in London Marathon

FORMER Mayfield School students Alice Reynolds and Caroline Cardozo will run the London Marathon in April in memory of their former headteacher Antonia Beary.

Antonia Beary, known as Miss Beary to a generation of Mayfield students, was the headteacher of Mayfield School for 15 years from 2008 to 2023, having first joined the school back in 2006.

Alice and Caroline, who studied for the full seven years at Mayfield School until 2020, are set to take part in the annual race on April 21 on behalf of Maggie’s, a charity which offers expert care and support for those with cancer and their friends and families in centres across the UK.

The former students had agreed with Miss Beary to support the charity, prior to her passing in October 2023.

The pair explained to the Times that neither of them were natural runners or ‘very fit’ when they started but believed that the thought of the two of them sweating through months of training would ‘make Miss B smile’.

Alice added: “Our initial motivation for the marathon was not in memory of Miss B, but an attempt to cheer her up and hopefully make her laugh while she underwent treatment.

“For me personally, having lost a parent in my final year at Mayfield, although Miss B had been a strong presence at Mayfield throughout my time there, the hours spent in her office being put back together are memories that I will always treasure, despite the sad context to them.

“She always managed to make me laugh even when I was going through the hardest challenge I have faced so far, and so I was desperate to attempt to do the same for her in any way I could.

Caroline commented: “Miss Beary was a huge influence on both of us throughout our time at Mayfield. She was incredibly kind, very quick-witted and always ready to help, be it with advice or aiding in the concoction of some hare-brained scheme.

“We hoped that running the London marathon and our attempts at training beforehand would make her laugh. Unfortunately, she has passed away since we started but she stays in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope to make her proud.”

The pair have made great progress with their running in recent months. During their first run back in September, they managed 3.5k before ‘collapsing on the driveway’ and being unable to walk the next day.

Alice and Caroline have both been training when they can while at university – Alice at Exeter University and Caroline at the University of Bristol. They have now both completed several 20-km runs and a couple of half marathons. Although they would both like to debunk the common myth that ‘running is addictive’, especially when having to train in the freezing cold.

They are hoping to raise £6,000 for their chosen charity and have so far received ‘fantastic’ support from the wider Mayfield community with many Old Cornelians and teachers already donating to their cause.

If you would like to follow Alice and Caroline’s marathon journey, visit their Instagram account @BestFootForwardForBeary or donate to their fundraising page at

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter