Matt Richardson | 7 marathons in 7 days | Race diaries 

A friend of OnVenture, Matt Richardson, will be taking on a massive endurance challenge starting on Saturday, 22nd July.

Matt will attempt to complete 7 marathons in 7 days at The Great Barrow Challenge. He is taking on the incredible feat to raise money and awareness for a fantastic charity called WAY Widowed and Young.

Matt will be sharing a daily blog with OnVenture following each of his marathons, giving great insight into endurance events, race preparation and recovery.

Day 1: Saturday 22nd July 2023
Start time: 9.00am 
Route:  Windmill Way – double loop 13.1 course
Time: 3hrs 50mins

Matt’s Diary Entry:

So here we go, day 1 of 7, feeling good. The weather couldn’t be better, and I can’t wait to get going. 

I proudly wear my WAY (Widowed and Young) vest and, as always, my Ipswich Town shorts which have been a standard for me for a long time.

I get loads of messages from family and friends wishing me luck, which is a huge boost.

I am looking forward to getting going. No nerves at all. I know from previous zigzag running events that it will be relaxed and friendly, with easy-to-follow courses and plenty of water and snacks on the course.

I have my standard banana and coffee pre-race and listen to the race brief.

The first half marathon flies by, and feeling really strong. I have plenty of nutrition waiting at halfway, including salt tablets, blocks energy, peperami, iced coffee and hot cross buns, however, I take nothing but water and chuck a mini peperami in my pocket for emergencies. I get back to Suffolk running centre, take 20 seconds to decide I don’t want anything and go out for lap 2.

There are loads of runners doing different distances, so there are a few overtakes and runners going hard. I have a pace which very rarely gets deviated from and have no competitiveness to try and keep up with other runners.


The course is quite hilly, and you do go past a windmill. The second half of the run also went well, and my legs felt a bit sore in the last few miles, but nothing to worry about.

I stick on the cricket at 11 on the radio but am disappointed it is being rained off, so switch over to listen to the Lionesses game. I always listen to music, sport or a podcast whilst running, but as headphones are not allowed, I just turn my phone on loudspeaker.

I finished the first marathon in about 3 hours 50 minutes (official results later), although I have little interest in the time. Grab a coffee and cake as well as a huge medal all courtesy of zigzag running, do a good stretching session and drive to Bramford River for a 15 minute dip (which was freezing).

Day 1 couldn’t have gone better. A good solid marathon, my legs feel OK, and it is time to get home to see my family, eat, relax, and hope the rain stops in the cricket.

See you tomorrow

Forever Blue.


Matt is completing his 7-in-7 in aid of Widowed And Young (WAY) a fantastic charity and one that is extremely close to his and his family’s heart, so if you can spare a few pounds, please donate to Matt’s Justgiving page. We know that Matt is extremely grateful of all of your kind donations, and it will drive him forward on each of his 295,000 odd strides he takes during his 7 marathons.