ON HOME STRETCH
NOT even a car accident that landed him in hospital has managed to stop local marathon man Matt Daniels in his latest extreme challenge.
While most of us feel the pinch for days after running just one half-marathon, the Geelong personal trainer just keeps on backing up — and has every day for a year.
Daniels, who made national headlines when he ran 55 marathons in 55 days in 2016, will achieve his 365th consecutive half-marathon today after not missing a day during the past 12 months.
Daniels, who is raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation in his attempt to complete a halfmarathon every day for 535 days in honour of Andrew Cadigan, has proved nothing will stand in his way.
“Gastro a couple of times wasn’t ideal, the man flu a couple of times wasn’t ideal and I had a car accident as well a couple of months back there, where I got hit pretty heavily from behind on the Torquay highway, so that wasn’t great,” Daniels said.
“Obviously I had to run the next day and had a bit of whiplash … so that wasn’t ideal, but apart from that I’ve been really lucky.
“It’s probably gone quicker than I expected.
“There have been some weeks there that have sort of dragged out, but in terms of getting a full year done, it’s probably gone quicker than I thought it would and it’s good to hit the milestone of 365 days.”
Daniels, who has lost 15kg, has gone through a pair of Nike LunarGlides a month for the past 12 months, but with 170 halfmarathons to go, he sees it as the run home.
Early days, his legs took some getting used to the daily halfmarathons, while he also had to “plug” away in the days following his Melbourne half-marathon effort.
But with summer now in full swing, Daniels can chase the light at the end of the tunnel — June 14 next year.
“It’s six months away, but I feel like I’m on the home stretch — which is ridiculous, because I’ve still got a few (runs) to go,” he said.
“I’m definitely still motivated, so super determined and as focused as day one. I just get up and get it done. I’m in the habit of getting it done every day regardless of what’s going on.”
Daniels’ previous challenge of 55 marathons in 55 days was for the same cause.
Cadigan was an inspirational fundraiser.
He became the third man to walk solo around Australia in honour of his mate, Chris Simpson, who died from complications of a leukaemia-related condition.
But he lost his life aged 31 after he suffered brain damage in a motor accident a month after completing his 15,000km walk.
His personal account was published in a book — completed by his author father Neil — which has inspired fundraisers around Australia.
To donate to Daniels’s fundraiser, visit my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/535.