He has a sub two and a half hour marathon record. An unbelievable 1:11:04 half marathon record. And an instagram feed that will inspire any runner, novice or amateur.
This is the Welsh runner. As posted on his account: “It won’t happen in a day but it will take a day to make it happen,” boasts the motivational athlete.
Matt Rees has only been running for two years. Having bought the most lavishly expensive pair of trainers, he soon realised comfort beat cost.
“I stuck with some comfy trainers I had been using for the gym which happened to have enough cushioning to run on. The next step was to just get out there. Although, I only ran twice in the first two weeks,” Matt said.
After constant and ongoing process, Matt now runs for his local club with determination to keep improving.
So what does our hero think about our turf?
“South Wales is perfect for running,” said Matt, adding that the various routes offer plenty to entertain. “I vary road, trail, grass, hills, and coastal routes to keep it interesting. We have some of the best scenery in the UK and arguably the world,” he added.
Matt believes such scenery, such as his most-most loved Welsh beaches, parks and forests, helps motivate and inspire runners to go outdoors and seek some adventure.
Matt told AppyRun that his favourite route is The Gower:”the coastal path around Gower is incredible. I love it. You can run for as long as you like and you experience the best views every time you go around a corner.”
According to The Welsh Runner, this offers no flat ground. Hills and vales occupy this route – alas, the views at the end of the toil are worth it. Freed by the element of nature and solace, Matt said: “I feel free running down a hill, it kind of feels like I’m a kid playing again. I have been known to stick my arms out to the side like a plane, but only when no one is around.”
“I need to choose what to wear in these conditions. A good waterproof jacket is key in Wales, but they can get toasty.”
An unbeatable, unbreakable runner, perhaps? Let’s account for Welsh weather!Matt admits it’s tough to motivate himself during Welsh gales and winds “The worst is when it’s really windy. It makes it so hard and can really get you down. I just keep reminding myself how good I feel after a run,” he said, adding that the hardest part is getting ready.
Although the Welsh weather can halt runs in their tracks (pun intended), Matt feels fortunate for the conditions we experience. With runner friends abroad struggling for coolness in the heat and others failing to run at all due to snow, Matt said he is ultimately grateful for our country’s mild running conditions.
From personal experience, Matt advises trail runs for fun but road runs for personal bests.”I train on the track a fair bit and it’s great for specific sessions but it’s definitely not my favourite,” he said.