Geelong Advertiser

ON HOME STRETCH

- DAMIEN RACTLIFFE

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.

 ?? Pic­ture: MARK WIL­SON ?? STEP­PING OUT: Matt Daniels will run his 365th con­sec­u­tive half-marathon to­day.
Pic­ture: MARK WIL­SON STEP­PING OUT: Matt Daniels will run his 365th con­sec­u­tive half-marathon to­day.
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