10 OMs run 540km to put a stop to mosquito-borne disease with the World Mosquito Program

10 OMs run 540km to put a stop to mosquito-borne disease with the World Mosquito Program

The Challenge 

After almost 30 years since leaving Millfield, 10 friends from the Class of ‘95 are reuniting to take on an epic endurance challenge to raise awareness of mosquito borne diseases.  

After more than three decades apart, the group of Old Millfieldians are coming together to embark on a remarkable journey: a 540 km run across Death Valley and the Mojave Desert in the US. Their mission is simple: to raise awareness of the growing global threat posed by mosquito-borne diseases. 

The team of 10 all share a joint commitment to global health. These Millfield alumni, all of them mums and dads in their own right with over 20 children between them, have formed the Mosquito Milers to highlight how changes in global conditions, such as climate factors and increased mobility, are contributing to the spread of dengue, the world’s fastest-spreading mosquito-borne disease.   

The team of 9 runners (plus Andy Hennessy, who will be taking part virtually) are raising funds for the World Mosquito Program (WMP), a non-profit initiative that protects more than 11 million people from dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever, using its ground-breaking Wolbachia technology.  

The challenge they've set themselves is called The Speed Project, an unconventional and unsanctioned long-distance 540km relay race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Each year, teams of six to ten runners from across the world compete, to run the distance as fast as possible. What makes it even more challenging is that there is no set route, no aid stations, no spectators to cheer them on - just their grit and resolve to finish. This mix of endurance and adventure unsurprisingly draws a wide range of participants, from amateurs to elite athletes, all seeking a rigorous test of both physical and mental stamina.  



When you’re running non-stop for up to 48 hours, you need a why. And theirs is a noble one. Today, mosquito-borne diseases present a formidable health challenge, claiming over one million lives annually and affecting up to 700 million people – nearly one in every ten individuals worldwide.  

Among these diseases, dengue is accelerating at an alarming pace, now placing more than half of the global population at risk and estimated to impact an additional two billion people by 2080. Described as one of the top 10 threats to global health by the World Health Organisation (WHO), dengue has increased tenfold over the last generation, with more than six million cases and over 6,000 dengue-related deaths in 2023. 



If you'd like to show your support for the team, no matter how small, there are various ways you can contribute, including following the links provided below to make a donation. Additionally, your support through social media engagement is immensely valuable. Consider sharing their journey with your network, leaving encouraging comments, and liking their progress posts. Every bit of support helps them on their journey, thank you.

JustGiving Page for Donations

Team Video

Mosquito Milers - Instagram

World Mosquito Program (WMP)


Meet the Team:  

Bayard Barron (1984-90; MPS/1990-95; Holmcroft) 

Bayard Joined the Army a year or so after leaving school and served in the Infantry. He is now a Colonel in the British Army, heading up their corporate communications. 

At Millfield he was Head Boy, played 1st XV rugby, was captain of the General Knowledge team and, after relentless campaigning, had four toilets built in A and B blocks. 


Tobias Mews (1990-95; Orchards) 

Tobias emigrated to rural France after leaving school and before joining the Army with the Royal Artillery. At some point, he began running and never stopped. He has over 15 years’ experience in adventure journalism and has completed more than 250 races, marathons, and ultramarathons. He lives in the Pyrenees, where he co-founded with his wife the boutique B&B, Secret Pyrenees and now works for the World Mosquito Program as their Global Content Strategist. 

At Millfield, Tobias didn’t run at all, unless there was a rumour of a wine and cheese party in the Dilettanti Society.


Tom Bertram (1987-90; MPS/ 1990-95; Millfield House) 

Potentially Millfield’s most decorated Hockey player with more than 100 England and GB caps (although we’ve lost count and seemingly there is no way to be certain…might be 125 but who knows!). One European Cup, one World Cup, two Olympic Games and a career as a GP. 

At school, Tom was found sitting in nettle bushes showing off his superpower immunity. 


Ruth Tuthill (1990-95; Walton) 

Since leaving Millfield Ruth spent 12 years teaching science. At present she is the co-founder of health and wellness company Looking After Me and recently has become a serial marathon runner raising over £70k for charity in the process. She has 3 children, all of whom attend or attended Millfield. 

At school, Ruth played hockey, playing 3 years in the 1st XI, with Miss Harkness.


Dan Travis (1990-95; Joan's Kitchen) 

Dan served for 12 years in the Grenadier Guards before moving on to be a teacher where he currently heads the athletics and football programmes at Headington School for Girls in Oxfordshire. 

At school, Dan was a standout in the football, athletics and cross country running teams. 


Libby Cole (nee Mourant) (1993-95; Tor) 

After leaving school, Libby went into the film industry and now lives in Panama running a successful business, MendMeShop, supporting people getting back on their feet. 

Libby loved Sixth Form at Millfield and embraced everything she could including learning the basics of film production, which she took forward to a career making feature films on locations across the world. 


Rick McCollum (1987-90; MPS/ 1990-95; Millfield House) 

Rick is a psychiatrist, specialising in the complexities of the human mind. A prolific hockey player competing in the Youth Olympics for England 1995 and winner of the world Masters 2018. 

At school, Rick played a lot of hockey and a lot of practical jokes.


Sebastian Devonshire (1990-95; Holmcroft) 

Following a degree in Architecture, Seb played rugby for Saracens U21s. He travelled the world with work before settling in his birthplace, the island of Ibiza. He is the Founder of Ibiza Foils, e-hydrofoils.

At school Seb was found in the quad surrounded by girls, or on the rugby pitch! 


Andy Hennessy 90-95 Day (1986-90; MPS/ 1990-95; Day) 

Andy has represented England/Great Britain in Athletics and Cross Country for over 20 events, with his strongest performance being at the European Championships in the 3000m Steeplechase. And at school, Andy ran a lot. 

In later years he has placed 8th in European Standard Distance Triathlon Championships for Age-Group athletes. Andy now works as a doctor.  

Sadly, he won’t be able to join the state side but is and will give his advice and support from the UK. 

Andy Cooper (1990-95; Kingweston) 

Andy is an Entrepreneur and Founder of Elite Hair Restoration Ltd, performing hair transplant surgery throughout the UK since 2010. He’s also an Ironman athlete. 

At Millfield, Andy would be found making people laugh with his quick-witted sense of humour or on the Astro playing for the 1st XI hockey.

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