A super-fit South Yorkshire pensioner is hoping to set a new world record by running 75 marathons in as many days – starting on his 75th birthday.
Grandad Ray Matthews, aged 74, is hoping to raise £75,000 with the challenge, which will be spent helping disabled children in the county.
Former boxer Ray, who discovered running in his 60s, is taking part in events organised by running clubs in South Yorkshire and further afield.
He will also be flying to Saint Quentin, in France, which is twinned with Rotherham, to run.
The challenge mirrors that of comedian Eddie Izzard, who is attempting 27 marathons in 27 days for Comic Relief.
Ray, of Maltby, said: “My best before date is closing in as fast as an express train.
“But before that happens I’d be so proud to raise £75,000 to provide rubber playground areas and entertainment facilities for children at Newman School, in Rotherham.”
Humble Ray, who puts his success down to the ‘exceptional’ cooking of wife Maureen, says that anybody could do such a challenge with the right attitude.
He said: “I feel so privileged that I’m able to do what I do without suffering.
“It’s about attitude; being honest with yourself and liking yourself. Setting yourself a goal and completing it is one of the most valuable things we can do.”
Ray first got into running after watching the London Marathon on television, aged 60. He then ran it in under four hours the next year.
The first marathon, on July 2, will start from New York Stadium, in Rotherham, and Ray will be joined by Rotherham United players.
As he is not running official marathons, the record will not be an official.
To learn about the challenge, visit www.rwrr.co.uk
Ray has a book, Who Dares, which tells of how he ran the Rowbotham Round Rotherham International 50-mile, aged 71.