Ready and set to take on 26 marathons in a year

Matt Southam will run 26.2 miles in a year
Matt Southam will run 26.2 miles in a year

A Hailsham man has set himself the gruelling challenge of running 26 marathons in one year to raise funds for a children’s cancer charity.

Matt Southam, who is a personal trainer at Hailsham Leisure Centre, will be raising funds for CLIC Sargent.

The 25-year-old decided to take on the challenge and raise money for the charity after several of his friends were diagnosed with the disease and helped by CLIC Sargent.

So far he has completed seven marathon distances including the London Marathon and the Brighton Marathon.

He also ran 26.2 miles on a treadmill at Hailsham Leisure Centre in May and participated in the Cotswold Way Ultra Race earlier this month, in which he ran four marathons in four days.

He aims to finish the challenge by April 2014 and is preparing to strap on his trainers for another three races planned next month.

Matt said the marathons have raised just over £700 so far but he wants to raise a good deal more for the charity.

He said: “I’m looking forward to raising as much money as possible for CLIC Sargent to help support their invaluable work.

“So far I’ve raised just over £700 in sponsorship, which is amazing, but I hope to raise a good few hundred more.

“It’s a truly worthwhile cause and every pound I raise will really help so please donate.”

Matt is a keen and regular runner but in the past six months had to significantly increase his training regime to prepare for the challenge.

He used the gym at Hailsham Leisure Centre to complete interval training and strength training sessions to boost his fitness and stamina and increased the frequency of his training runs.

Freedom Leisure Centre manager Dominic Horner said the leisure centre staff wished him the best of luck in the gruelling challenge.

He said: “Matt is a great inspiration to members and staff here and we wish him the best of luck in his challenge.”

You can keep up to date with Matt’s training and races by visiting his website at

You can also follow him on Twitter

For further information or to make a donation to Matt, visit his fundraising page at