Sir AP McCoy to launch marathon campaign

(Photo: John Reay with Sir AP McCoy to launch the ‘7 in 7’ Marathon Challenge)

Sir AP McCoy has launched a unique race to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Great North Air Ambulance.

The 20-time Champion Jockey has thrown his support behind John Reay, a 37-year-old factory worker from Carlisle, who is running seven marathons in just seven days. The ‘7 in 7’ challenge is being run around seven British racecourses, starting on Tuesday 7th March at Newcastle. Then the race moves on to Catterick, Carlisle, Leicester, Hereford, Warwick and finishes on Monday 13th March at Stratford Racecourse.

Tuesday March 7th – Newcastle

Wednesday March 8th – Catterick

Thursday March 9th – Carlisle

Friday March 10th – Leicester

Saturday March 11th – Hereford

Sunday March 12th – Warwick

Monday March 13th – Stratford

William Hill Ambassador, Sir AP McCoy, is backing the challenge with a £5000 donation from the bookmaker.

William Hill ambassador, Sir AP McCoy: “John tried to get me to run all seven marathons with him but even for me this is a race too far. I’ve ridden in Grand Nationals and Gold Cups but I just had to sit and let the horses do the running! He’s inspirational and I wish him the very best of luck. I’ll be at Stratford to run the final lap with him.”

John is a lifelong racing fan and secretary of the Six Thix Racing syndicate. He first started thinking about raising money for charity after the tragic injury of JT McNamara at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival and decided to put his thoughts into action after jockey Freddy Tylicki was paralysed after a fall at Kempton Park in October.

Along with organiser Ian Milburn, John has been preparing for months to raise as much money for charity as possible. Next week, he will set about running the race of his life and do 7 marathons in 7 days.

John Reay, ‘7 in 7’ runner:

“I first thought about doing something for charity after jockey JT McNamara’s fall at Cheltenham. I read an article about him returning home and receiving help from the Injured Jockeys Fund. After Freddy Tylicki was badly injured in a racing accident I decided to get the ball rolling and came up with the idea to run 7 marathons in 7 days around 7 British racecourses.

“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.

“The toughest part of preparing for the challenge is finding the time to train. I work shifts in a factory and am on my feet all day anyway, so it’s hard to get the miles in, especially with a young family. I started training in November and my missus and three children (13, 7 and a one-year-old) have been really supportive, despite thinking what I’m doing is absolutely mad!

“Running a marathon is the end product of training hard and I’ve had some problems with my knee along the way. I’ve been seeing a physio every two weeks for ITB syndrome, which is squeezing a nerve. The physio has to stick his elbow right in to my bum cheek and push really hard! I’d rather have a tattoo on my face it hurts so much.

“I first took up running after I stopped smoking a few years ago. I should probably say you’ve got to eat healthily to do a marathon, but I need to consume about 5000 calories a day, which is double what a normal active male would need, so I’ve been scoffing crisps, cake and Coca Cola just to get enough calories in.

“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 £50k, but any money to help the IJF and the Great North Air Ambulance will be gratefully received. I’m dedicating my life to charity now and would love to raise a million pounds in my lifetime.”

For full details on this amazing challenge and how to support, please visit: