CAPTION: Matt Gorton pictured just after running 26 miles on the South West Coast Path

New Curate’s Marathon Effort

Posted: 9th October, 2020

Matt Gorton was only ordained as a priest a few weeks ago, and has also recently had to self-isolate with his family, but that didn’t stop him competing in the virtual London Marathon which took place on Sunday 4 October.

His run was raising funds for the Marie Curie cancer care charity in memory of the Reverend Prebendary Anne Legge, a friend and former Team Rector of Newton Ferrers, who died earlier this year.

“I hadn’t had the opportunity to train and so I was in two minds about doing it, but then I thought about those people battling cancer who don’t get any choice about it and thought what right does that give me not to do it?”

Matt Gorton outside Exeter Cathedral after his ordination in September

Matt, who is a curate in the Kingsbridge and Estuary Churches Mission Community, did have a place to run the London Marathon in London. That has now been deferred to October 2021.

Instead, he ran the 26 miles by doing laps of a “relatively flat” three-mile stretch of the South West Coast path between Salcombe and Marlborough.

He said, “It took a lot more mental strength than doing it in London because usually having thousands of people cheering for you really carries you.

“Having to do it solo was hard going, particularly when the weather turned.”

Matt began his run at 6am, breaking off to attend church with his family and run a zoom church session, before returning to complete the distance in an official 5 hours and 37 minutes.

He said at one point, when he was feeling really tired, he got some unexpected support:

“I was hitting ‘the wall’ people talk about and suddenly from nowhere another runner appeared behind me.

“It turned out to be someone from my kids’ school out for her morning run.

“She ran with me for two miles, which was the lift I needed.

“It was a great boost and I think God had his hand in that.”

Matt’s JustGiving page will be live until October 2021.