A super-fit grandad is aiming to break a new world record – by running 75 MARATHONS in just 75 DAYS.
Ray Matthews, plans to start his epic challenge on his 75th birthday and hopes his efforts will bring in £75,000 for disabled children.
Former boxer Ray, only took up running aged 60 after watching the London Marathon on television.
The next year he entered the race, completing it in under four hours.
Ray, from Maltby, South Yorks., said: “My best before date is closing in as fast as an express train.
“But before that happens I would be so proud to achieve a world record and to raise £75,000 to provide rubber playground areas and entertainment facilities for children at Newman School, in Rotherham.”
Ray’s first marathon will be at the New York Stadium in Rotherham, South Yorks., where he will be joined by Rotherham United players along the route.
He said: “It will be run at a steady pace so most people can join in and run beside me. We have set up the routes in loops instead of having a straight long line between two points so people can join in for just 5k or 10k.”
His 75 marathons will also see him fly to Saint Quentin in northern France, which is twinned with Rotherham, for his 50th and 51st marathons.
However Ray notes that fitting these two runs into a packed schedule will be tough.
He said: “On the Friday I will go out early and run my marathon for that day and then get on a bus that has been put on for me and head to France and run the two marathons there on the Saturday and Sunday before heading back.
“I’ve got my physio going with me so I anticipate lying down in the back on the way back.
“The town of Saint Quentin has been really keen to get involved. We’ve been over there and sorted out the route.
“When I last went over there they made me feel like a celebrity.”
Granddad-of-three Ray says his success is all down to the “exceptional” cooking of his wife Maureen, 74, as well as a ‘can do’ attitude.
He said: “All these things happen because I’m married to a great woman and without getting the right food inside these marathons don’t happen. We eat well and good food is the key to everything.”
Ray, who used to run a steel construction business, says he is lucky that he is able to still be running long distances without any real problems as he approaches his 75th birthday.
He said: “I feel so privileged that I’m able to do what I do without suffering.
“I’m feeling confident and I’ve got no fears. I don’t fear that I won’t be able to do it.
“It’s increasingly difficult to get as fit as I’d like to be but I’ll never be 21 again.
“It’s about attitude; being honest with yourself and liking yourself. I beat myself up if I do badly, but give myself a big pat on the back when I do well. Setting yourself a goal and completing it is one of the most valuable things we can do.
“The training is getting intense now but I’ve got a great team of doctors and physios helping me out.
“We’ve been going at it for more than a year. I’ve slowly been increasing training over a number of months and I go out running twice a day, but I’m not running every day.
Ray previously exploits took part in a 50-mile race around the Rotherham area aged 71.
His challenge starts on July 2.