A remarkable 75-year-old grandad from South Yorkshire who completed an astonishing 75 marathons in as many days has handed over the cash he raised.
Ray Matthews, from Rotherham, defied his age to complete the charity challenge and set what is believed to be a new world record.
He raised £29,995 for Newman School, in Whiston, where the money will fund life-enhancing outdoor play facilities for children with disabilities.
Ray, of Maltby, used to run his own engineering firm called Structural Services, somehow made his mammoth undertaking sound like a doddle.
“I enjoyed every one of the marathons, and the support I’ve had has been incredible,” said the grandfather-of-three
“I had no aches or pains after the runs. The only thing that’s bothered me has been my hamstrings, which have run out of elasticity.
It was the most emotional experience. Everyone there is part of Team Ray
“They’re painful when I’m running but as long as I don’t over-stretch them they will come along fine.”
Ray began his challenge on his 75th birthday, on July 1 last year, and crossed his final finishing line - nearly 2,000 miles later - on September 14. He visited Newman School on Friday to present a cheque to delighted pupils and staff.
“It was the most emotional experience. Everyone there is part of Team Ray, and I can’t put into words what a special day that was,” he said.
Julie Mott, headteacher of Newman School, said: “We can’t thank Ray enough for all that he has done for us... he really is one in a million!”
Ray, who previously completed a 100km race across the Sahara Desert and slogged for 150 miles around Rotherham, is not finished yet.
Having set out to raise £75,000 for the school, he is determined to hit that target and promises the next challenge - whatever it may be - will push him even closer to the edge. It’s not too late to sponsor Ray - visit Ray’s World Record Run
You can listen to Ray talk about his 75 marathons at a charity event at Maltby Westley Centre, in Blyth Road, this Friday from 8pm.
Doors open 7.30pm and tickets for the event cost £3 on the door.