Amazing Ray goes round – 
and round – and round again

Ray Matthews.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Ray Matthews. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

HE conquered the Sahara Desert at 70, but at the age of 71, Ray Matthews has again done the almost impossible!

The grandad has just completed the 50-mile Rotherham Round Race three times over, and was still whizzing past the 50-milers as he approached his last lap.

Ray set off from Dearne Valley College’s Manvers campus at 5pm on Friday, then ran through two nights to make the finish line on Sunday- half a minute over his target time of 10am.

And on Tuesday, Ray told the Times that although he suffered some hamstring trouble that forced him to slow down for a while on Saturday, he is now totally free of aches, pains or niggles, and at the 150-miles finish could have kept on running if he had needed to. His training base is energie gym at Parkgate, and many of his gym pals turned up to cheer him on.

“I had no fact other runners were asking me to at least look like I was struggling as I ran with them,” he laughed.

“But I couldn’t have done it without the volunteers who gave up sleep to be my pit stops. They were amazing.”

Ray’s run was a sponsored feat to raise cash for an adapted trike costing £800, for pupils at the Newman School, Rotherham.

He now faces an enforced rest for several weeks following an urgent hand operation.

“It will be hard not to exercise but I do appreciate how privileged I am to be able to do what I do,” he said. “Perhaps a rest will do me good.”