Matthew tackles gruelling 100-mile running challenge

Matthew Pearce, left, towards the end of the run.
Matthew Pearce, left, towards the end of the run.

Being charged at by cows, following a route across the set of a major Hollywood movie and having to navigate through thick fog – a super-fit gym instructor completed a gruelling 100-mile continuous run for charity.

And Matthew Pearce admits that the St Oswald’s Way Ultramarathon – taking him from Holy Island to Chollerford – was the most physically challenge thing he has ever done.

The 28-year-old, who helps run Alnwick’s Real Fitness gym, took on the endurance race for mental-health charity Combat Stress, which treats veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Impressively, former Royal Marine Matthew completed the arduous test of stamina and willpower in 22 hours 55 minutes, finishing joint third.

Reflecting on the challenge, which took place at the weekend, Matthew – formerly of Newton-by-the-Sea, but now living in Newcastle – said: “I’m not really sure where to start when looking back at the epic that was the St Oswalds Way Ultramarathon and my first 100-ish mile race, but the picture of me looking utterly thrashed crossing the bridge at the finish-line probably sums it up.

“It was a pretty testing experience with unexpected heat throughout the day, thick fog that came down after sunset which made navigating a challenge, a route that led us through the set of the next Transformers film and two occasions where I was charged by cows who didn’t know why I was stumbling though their field at 2am.

“It was probably the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’ve never had to dig as deep as I did in the final stages of the race when my legs decided that they weren’t going to play the game anymore.”

He has thanked everyone who has supported him and donated to the cause, having raised £1,235 so far. To sponsor him, visit