Matthew Loddy will have journeyed 2,600 miles when he crosses the finish line at tomorrow's London Marathon. In a race that has taken him across Europe and parts of the UK, it will be a remarkable lifetime achievement as he completes his 100th 26.2 mile-run in 100 days.
The 46-year-old businessman from Berkhamsted began his journey in Lagos, Portugal on January 14th, having never run a full marathon before. Since starting the challenge, Matthew has run from the Algarve in Portugal, through Spain, France and even across the channel thanks to a treadmill set up on the ferry.
Lee Comley caught up with Matthew Loddy as he finished his 99th marathon.
Matthew, who describes himself as "not a long-distance runner" on his Twitter profile, says the inspiration for this incredible undertaking was the loss of his friend Phil Latham, aged 36, to a rare stomach cancer in 2010. On completion of his epic journey, he hopes to have raised over £100,000 for The Hospice of St Francis in Northchurch, which looked after Phil, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Travelling through the continent with just his father in support, Matthew's journey has not been an easy one. He has been rushed to hospital three times and suffered an infection that meant he couldn’t run for three days.
The managing director of Framework Scaffolding Contractors said: “The low points of my journey have not been the pains of the injuries – but the ones that have threatened failure.
“Pain, I can cope with. I’ve got injuries that will probably stay with me for months, years and possibly longer.
“But whatever happens, happens. I don’t worry about what’s going to happen to my body after this.”
The final stages of the businessman's mission took in Brighton, Bognor Regis, Portsmouth, Southampton and Leatherhead.
Along the way, Matthew has established a celebrity following including Linford Christie, Stacey Solomon and Chris Tarrant.
Joining him on his penultimate run from Surrey to the London Marathon start line in Greenwich today was Alex Best, former wife of footballer George Best.
Waiting at the finish line of the London Marathon will be his wife Karen, 46, and daughters India, 20, and Jemima, 16.