Mathews takes to the track

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Mike Mathews has conquered the road, now he’s ready to take on the track.

 

Norfolk residents might remember the Norfolk native, he’s the guy that ran 150km in four days last summer to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and donated proceeds to the Terry Fox Foundation.

This year – as his 30th birthday approaches – Mathews has cooked up an equally challenging excursion.

Beginning June 1 at 7a.m. the Simcoe Composite School grad will run 30 hours straight on the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show track in support of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

“Last year I chose Terry Fox because it was Canada’s 150th and I wanted to honour Canada’s icon but Make-a-Wish was another organization I had in my mind that I would like to help out and be a part of,” Mathews said.

Running for 30 consecutive hours might sound like an insane amount to most people but it’s just another stepping stone for Mathews.

“I’m always looking to challenge myself, and I got into ultra running and I kept thinking to myself ‘I wonder what it’s like for those guys and girls to run for 24 hours straight, what would go on in their heads and what would it feel like?’,” Mathews explained. “I thought ‘I turn 30 this year, maybe I’ll try an ultra marathon but I’ll tack an extra six hours on there’.”

Matthews was on his own running four marathons in four days in 2017, so he’s inviting the public to come and be part of his 30 hour marathon this year.

Residents can come to the track to donate, but are also being asked to either run or walk up to two miles (4 laps) at a time. Draw prizes are available for anyone that runs alongside Mathews.

“It would be cool if there’s a couple buddies that want to come out and race,” said Mathews. “I’m a pretty competitive guy so if we had a couple buddies say ‘let’s go race a mile while Mike’s out there running’, I’ll cheer you on while you’re racing.”

Being a fitness major at Humber College in Toronto, Mathews has the run down to a science. He’s broken it into five, six-hour bouts. He’ll change directions every three hours and plans to run in 25 minute intervals and walk for five minutes at a time. He’ll fuel up every three hours with a substantial meal but also consume smaller portions every hour.

“There’s going to be a lot more to it than just running in circles,” he said.

In making his rounds to drum up support and sponsorship, Mathews has been well received given his efforts last summer.

The best part of all, he said, is that the proceeds have been earmarked for a child in Norfolk County.

“A lot of people’s eyes lit up when I told them that,” said Mathews, who is drawing inspiration from Make-a-Wish children everywhere in preparation for the event.

“All I can try and think about is how they’re out there grinding every day. They shouldn’t have to, but they are, that’s what they know … I think of them and that keeps me going.”

Donations can be made at the time of the event, or dropped off at Eising Garden Centre in Simcoe, North Shore Athletics in Port Dover, and Anume Health and Wellness studio in Waterford. People can also donate online at makeawishca.donordrive.com/campaign/mikemathews.

jrobinson@postmedia.com

 





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