John Reay and Sir Anthony McCoy, who will join him on the final circuit of his challenge at Stratford
By Mark Scully 9:32AM 6 MAR 2017
SIR Anthony McCoy has thrown his support behind a racing fanatic’s bid to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Great North Air Ambulance by running seven marathons in as many days.
John Reay, a lifelong racing fan and secretary of the Six Thix Racing syndicate who has dubbed his mission ‘7 in 7’, will run each marathon at a different British racecourse, beginning on Tuesday at Newcastle.
He will move on to Catterick on Wednesday, then Carlisle, Leicester, Hereford and Warwick before finishing at Stratford the following Monday.
Reay will be joined on the final circuit of his challenge at Stratford by McCoy, who on Sunday handed over a donation of £5,000 on behalf of bookmaker William Hill.
“He’s inspirational and I wish him the very best of luck,” said the 20-time champion jockey.
For factory worker Reay, the challenge has been many months in the planning, with the terrible injuries sustained by jockey Freddy Tylicki in a fall at Kempton in October the final inspiration he needed to put it into motion.
“I first thought about doing something for charity after jockey JT McNamara’s fall at Cheltenham [in 2013],” said the 37-year-old. “After Freddy Tylicki was badly injured in a racing accident I decided to get the ball rolling.
“It’s great that Sir AP McCoy has got behind the challenge and the racecourses are really kind to let me run the marathons before racing each day. It’s going to be hard but the racing fraternity are really supporting me.
“I started training in November and my missus and three children have been really supportive, despite thinking what I’m doing is absolutely mad.
“I’m pretty nervous and in the back of my mind I just want to avoid injury and complete the challenge. It would be amazing to raise maybe £50,000, but any money to help the IJF and the Great North Air Ambulance will be gratefully received.”
For further details and to donate to Reay’s 7 in 7 challenge, visit: http://www.7in7challenge.org/index.html