In the news

29th January 2010 at 00:00
Lisa McDougal


Lisa McDougal is a newly qualified drama teacher at Oxford Academy, Littlemore, in Oxford. She is climbing Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro in the February half-term. Having already run the London marathon, and competing for the second time this year, she appears fearless of her next challenge.

Why is she going to so much effort?

"I have always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro. I love challenges; if Chris Moyles can do it then so can I," says 22-year-old Ms McDougal. I reached the top of Jbel Toubkal in Morocco last year with my friend, and thought, what next? We booked it up and decided to do it for Kidney Research UK. I'm doing it for my grandad who died of kidney failure; he was awesome."

Has she been in serious training?

"Well, not exactly. I've been taking my lovely puppy for walks. I climbed Snowdon a couple of weeks ago. My plan is to pack wine gums; they kept me going during the marathon. I'm just worried I'll eat them all before I start."

And that's her biggest worry?

"Well you'd think I'd be prepared, but I'm not. I did the marathon last year and I was unprepared. I had all the gear, the trainers, outfit and so on, but I became shy and only trained to 13-and-a-half miles. I should have learnt, but I'll still have training to do for Kilimanjaro."

Her school must be impressed, though?

"There are five members of staff doing the marathon this year; some of us are training together. My Year 8 tutor group have been great. They've created a fundraising team hosting cake sales and car washes. Their first baking sale was last week."

Is she taking time off?

"The climb takes six days. I'm only having one day off school. I wouldn't want more off; I love school. Plus I have taken over a Year 11 GCSE group who have to learn in a short space of time, I can't let them down."

She gets on with the pupils, then?

"They laugh at me; I was told yesterday that when I am telling them off I can't help but smile. We have a good relationship; it's important to get on with the children. I'm always on a high because I love teaching."

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