BANKER Matt Hunt is swapping his desk for the open road over the next week as he takes on a daunting challenge.
Starting on Monday, the 30-year-old is planning to run a marathon a day for five days – 131 miles – to raise money for charities.
On the way he hopes to raise £5,000 for several good causes, including the Rainbow Centre, his branch’s nominated charity, and a cause close to his heart, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
He will set off from the Barclays Bank where he works as a personal banking advisor in West Street Fareham at 9am taking in other branches at Gosport, Stubbington and Park Gate, and finishing the first day in Southampton.
After that he doubles back across Bishop’s Waltham and Petersfield, finishing the week at Herne Bay in Kent.
Local bank staff will be joining Matt for a mile or more and local business customers have offered overnight accommodation for the challenge.
Matt said: ‘My aunt Lyn died from CF when she was 28 about 15 years ago, so it’s quite important to our family and there’s still no cure for it.
‘Having run the London Marathon and the Great North and South runs I wanted to do something special and I was inspired by comedian Eddie Izzard who did 43 marathons in 51 days.
‘Although I won’t be matching Eddie’s achievements, doing 131 miles in five days will be a real challenge.
‘I have been training hard and I’m looking forward to getting started.
‘It’s going to be difficult and I’m probably the only person right now who’s hoping the hot weather doesn’t last.’
Barclays has agreed to match the money Matt raises. He will be joined at the start of the first leg by area director Andy Deegan, as well as several other colleagues.
Matt, from the Isle of Wight, added: ‘I’m delighted with the support I’ve received from Barclays and my colleagues and will be stopping off at branches along the way for refreshments.’
And as Matt passes through each county, a different local charity has been nominated to receive the money raised from that leg.
Branches he should pass will be putting out the banners and cheering him on and customers and passers-by will be able to donate money through the bank.
Other charities set to benefit include Canine Partners, Mencap, the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Wessex Cancer Trust.
Julie Woodward, community fundraiser for The Rainbow Centre, which helps children with cerebral palsy, said: ‘We rely on the generosity and dedication of people like Matt who has raised a lot of money for us over the last few years in numerous sporting challenges, along with the support of organisations such as Barclays. We are so grateful for Matt’s personal contribution and wish him the best of luck.’ Sponsor Matt at justgiving.com/matts5in5