Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Ray Matthews, 75, plans 75 marathon races in 75 days

Ray Matthews of Rotherham
Image caption Ray Matthews said: "I like doing extreme distance challenges"

A man who has just turned 75 is planning to run 75 marathons over 75 days to raise £75,000 for charity.

Ray Matthews from Maltby, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, is to start the first 26.2-mile run on Saturday.

Most of the marathons will be around his home county but he will also complete two in France, he said.

It is to raise funds for Newman School in Rotherham which caters for a range of special educational needs and disabilities.

'Like extreme challenges'

Mr Matthews described the plan as a birthday present to himself that would last 75 days.

"I like doing extreme distance challenges," he said.

Image caption Most of the marathons have been organised around South Yorkshire.

His last distance challenge was to run 150 miles in 36 hours when he was 71.

"I hoped that would take me to the extreme edge of what I was capable of - and it didn't," he explained.

'One foot in front'

Most of the marathons have been organised by running clubs around South Yorkshire.

However, two are being held in St-Quentin, France, Rotherham's twin town.

He started running as a "little lad" as part of his boxing training and "has an ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other more times than other people".

Mr Mathews intends to run into Newman school on 14 September at the end of the challenge with "my arms aloft", he said.

He hopes to raise money to improve the external areas of the school and provide new equipment.

Katharine Ryan-Murray, deputy head teacher at the school said: "It's such an amazing event, we wish him all the best.

"We're delighted he's fundraising for the school".

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