A Wiveliscombe man is taking on three marathons in three countries in as many months to raise money for cancer research.

Matt Redwood defeated the Luxembourg marathon in April, and is now set to take on marathons in Norway and Croatia.

Matt's mission was launched after a family member was diagnosed with a rare cancer. His endurance feats will raise money for Jack's Journey, a special fund at the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG).

The fund was set up by Matt's cousin Lucy and her husband Nick after their son Jack was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis, a rare cancer which primarily affects children.

Since Jack was diagnosed in November 2021, family and friends have raised over £56,000 for the fund. Now Matt, who had never run a race before, is undertaking an incredible endurance feat to push the total higher. Matt said: “I've always wanted to raise money for something, and it's given me that reason to step forward and do it. 

“I'd always wanted to do a marathon. It's been one of my goals. So, I thought why I shouldn’t step forward and go for this challenge where I can raise funds for people who are less fortunate Obviously, I’d never done a marathon before, so knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge.

Matt is taking on 3 marathons in 3 months in 3 countries to raise money for cancer research
Matt is taking on 3 marathons in 3 months in 3 countries to raise money for cancer research (Matt Redwood )

“And it was tough, especially from 35km onwards, but the crowd helped with this, screaming their praise and motivating you to get through the next mile. My legs had definitely felt better days after but, surprisingly, I wasn’t too bad the next day.

“The race itself was amazing - it was so well organised, and the occasion was incredible. It was a 7pm start so all the streets were lit up. There were over 100,000 spectators crowding around the streets of Luxembourg, and street bands, DJs and choirs on most race corners. It had it all!”

Matt completed his first marathon after 3 hours and 39 minutes, approaching the average speed of an intermediate competitor. Next he will take on a forrest marathon in Norway and the last leg in Croatia. He said:

"The second marathon I'm doing is around a forest in Oslo, through little waterfalls and over rocks and things. They say you should [expect this to] add on about another 30 minutes to an hour on to your time, so it will take a bit longer to do that one.

“The third marathon is in Croatia in July, so it's obviously going to be quite hot. They’re all experiences and have something different about them, which is great.”

Matt's marathons have already raised £1,500 for Jack's Journey, and he is hoping to raise even more with his upcoming races.

Lizzie Goates, Fundraising Manager Community & Corporates at CCLG, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you and well done to Matt for his incredible efforts so far.

“The money he has raised will go a long way to funding pioneering and much-needed research into LCH, helping to make a huge difference for children and their families in the future.”