75 Marathons, in 75 days? Yes, at age 75, local hero Ray Matthews did it. He ran 1,957.5 miles in total!
Find out about Ray below…
On Friday 20th January 2017, Ray was our guest speaker and shared all about his adventure and the journey he made to raise money for Newman School, Whiston. It proved to be an interesting and very entertaining night, with some special guests also sharing their contribution to the fundraising events. Our fully licensed bar was open and we had a fair turnout. All ticket proceeds, which amounted to over £230, have gone to the Newman School fundraising effort.
Find out more about Marathon Man
Running 75 marathons in 75 days at the age of 75 would probably be a big enough challenge for anybody… but not for Ray Matthews, who is all set to announce details of his next, bigger, fundraising challenge.
So far he has raised £30,000 of his £75,000 target but he is determined to smash his original target. “The fundraising is ongoing. If running 75 marathons in 75 days hasn’t enabled me to reach my fundraising target then I will have to set myself an even bigger challenge.” Ray completed his marathon challenge in September, having run 2,100 miles to raise money for Newman School, Whiston, Rotherham. The school is a specialist school for children with disabilities. Ray had seen first-hand the amazing work all the staff at Newman provide and he wanted to do all he could to give the Newman team a helping hand.
He has seen the look of joy on the children’s faces when he raised enough money to have an adaptable trike which all the kids loved. He wanted so see that look of pure happiness again by raising £75,000 to completely rubber coat the entire playground areas to give the children a more comfortable, stimulating place for the children to play, grow and learn.
His passion for supporting the school is obvious when speaking to Ray. “The school’s teachers and staff are angels. The children always have smiles on their faces and that is special so I am happy to do anything I can.
“The rubber coating is top of their wish list but if we can keep the money rolling in then there is so much we could do – including wheelchair friendly swings and roundabouts, and creating an accessible path from the school to woodland on the school site to enable the school to create wildlife activities which can be built into the curriculum. I have lots of people willing to help this up but it relies on money being available.” Ray is also very passionate about his sport. As a former boxer, running was the part of his training he liked the least. But now he loves running because he wants to run. He remains grateful for his good health and over the past few years, retirement has given Ray the opportunity to fulfil some of his dreams and ambitions that he was not able to take on previously. Four years ago, at the age of 71, Mr Matthews also ran 150 miles in 36 hours. Ray has encountered challenges in fundraising for the school. As it is not a registered charity it is not eligible for tax relief or text giving, which he feels has limited the amounts raised. Therefore, in the longer term Ray is hoping to set up a charity linked to the school.
For now, he is continuing to add to the fundraising pot by giving talks within the community in return for donations. He will appear at The Wesley Centre, Maltby, on Friday 20th January 2017 at 7.00pm for 8pm start. The ‘Evening with Ray Matthews’ will be a ‘chat show’ style event with time for audience questions. Tickets cost £3 and can be reserved by calling 01709 811118.
If you can’t attend the event but would still like to donate you can donate directly to the Newman School or contact Ray via www.rwrr.co.uk, where you can also book him to talk at your event.
Article by Chanel Hosfield from Rotherham Life Magazine.