Seven in Seven: Matt's story

July 2023

This week, WAY supporter Matt has been running a gruelling seven marathons over seven days in memory of his brother-in-law Clax and to raise funds for WAY. That’s like running from London to Sheffield – a staggering 295,000 strides!

Fundraiser Matt

Matt started running through the beautiful Suffolk countryside on Saturday, 22 July as part of the Great Barrow Challenge. Proudly donning his WAY vest and Ipswich Town shorts, he took the first leg of his challenge in his stride, finishing in well under four hours – and rounded of the day with a chilly dip in the Bramford River

On Day 2, Matt was joined by his brother Sam, the co-founder of Suffolk sports and coaching company OnVenture, which is supporting Matt’s challenge. Buoyed by the support of Matt’s son Jake, the pair came in at just a touch under four hours. 

Following a very wet and hilly run for marathon number 3, Matt shared that this is in fact the perfect running conditions for him and how he focuses on getting through the 26 miles: 

“I have no interest in minutes per mile, my philosophy is that I am going to be running 26.2 miles, and I will get there when I get there.”

Matt’s children came along to the race on day 4 in the form of Jake’s Ipswich Town shirt, Alf’s orange cap and Daisy’s Daisy Duck badge acting like good luck charms to spur Matt on as he passed the halfway mark of the 7 day challenge.

Day 5 and the sun was out - great for the rest of us, but not for someone running another 26.2 miles! Lots of water later, Matt still managed to complete day 5 in just over 4 hours. Incredible!

“I was expecting to struggle a few times during this challenge, and today was one of them. But it also makes it more satisfying.”

Matt running down a road

Matt’s friend and co-founder of OnVenture, Dan joined Matt on day 6 as part of his own Ironman Wales training. Another 4 hours of running under Matt’s belt left him with just one more push on the final day to complete the seven-in-seven.

Day 7 and the whole family came out to cheer Matt on. Seven marathons just wasn't enough though...he even managed an extra mile on the last day! 

We'll leave the last round up to Matt who said:

"Looking back, I had a great week, it was tough, but I achieved a personal goal of multiple-day marathons. However, this means nothing compared to being able to raise over £1700 for WAY and being able to support my sister-in-law Nicky and niece Hope. It is amazing how generous people can be, and I have been blown away by everyone’s generosity. I am proud to be part of Clax’s legacy. If he were here, he would happily have come to support me with a can of fosters."

Matt ran a variety of different courses over the week but each of the 26.2 miles marathons have been completed at the Suffolk Running Centre, in Great Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds.

Matt took up running when he had just left school to get fit to join the military. Since then, he has run in an incredible 70+ official marathons! Over the past 20 years, running has become a way for him to stay fit, relax and help his mental health.

At the start of this year, however, Matt’s world was shattered when his brother-in-law Clax passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving his wife Nicky, daughter Hope and the whole family devastated. Having seen the utter pain Nicky and Hope went through, and feeling completely helpless in trying to take their pain away, he wanted to do something to help. 

Matt told us: “WAY Widowed and Young have supported Nicky and Hope with trying to rebuild their lives, and I thought it would be good for me to raise money for the charity that is helping them. I feel honoured to be representing WAY.” 

Thanks to Matt’s incredible efforts, he has raised more than £1,700 to help other young widowed people like Nicky across the UK.

You can read more about Matt’s journey here  

It’s not too late to show Matt your appreciation:

Support Matt

A message from Matt:

"What a week and one that I enjoyed every single second of. Even when it was hot, when I was struggling and when my legs were hurting. I knew it was going to test me and push my body to the edge, and it did at times, however I never doubted my ability, will-power and determination to get to the end and fulfill my obligation to everyone that had sponsored me. In the end I managed to complete all the marathons around 4 hours (a few over and a few under) and ran every mile.

However that is enough about my running as it is irrelevant, I can not get over how many people have sponsored me and how much money is going to WAY on behalf of Nicky, Hope and Clax. What a privilege it has been to wear the WAY vest and raise some money for everyone that needs help and supports at probably the hardest time of their lives.

Thank you all at WAY, to my wife and children and to everyone that sponsored me."