Derby father takes on 10 marathons in 10 days

A Derby father is set to take on the biggest challenge of his life by running 10 marathons in 10 days to raise money for Rainbows.

From 9.30am on October 16, James Spray (41), will begin the mammoth task of completing 26.2 miles a day for 10 consecutive days. 

It is not the first time the Rolls-Royce engineer has attempted an endurance mission. In April, he ran two marathons in his back garden in two days dressed in scrubs, raising £5,500 for the NHS.

“I am a keen runner and ultra-marathon runner but have never taken on anything like this,” said James. “We are having a huge fundraising drive at Rolls-Royce and staff were encouraged to come up with their own ideas in supporting Rainbows. Rainbows is such a fantastic charity and I thought I needed to do something big to raise big.”

James has devised a three-mile circular route around the streets near Rolls-Royce in Sinfin. He will also run a section of it at the Rolls-Royce site in Hucknall.

“It will be a bit monotonous but that is part of the challenge,” added James. “And I have a positive mental attitude, which I know will get me through it. I don’t want to put a time on each day’s run as I don’t want to burn myself out.

“I know the pain I am going to be in. I have sorted physio for every other day. It is all about preparation, hydration and nutrition. It will be no mean feat but I know I have the mental strength to get through it.

“I am not sure how much I will raise but I am quite ambitious and I hope it will be thousands. Benz Bavarian, in Duffield, has sponsored me to do this and I really want to thank them for their support. Everyone is being so supportive of what I am doing, which is great. My wife, Susan, thinks I am mad but she is hoping to join me for a section most days. 

“My daughter, Abigail, is very fit and healthy, which makes you very thankful. I just want to raise that awareness of Rainbows and its work and encourage everyone to look out for each other.”

James, who has been a member of Sinfin Running Club for 11 years, has also written a “book of terrible jokes” with his colleague, Simon Brown, to raise money for our charity. 

Paula North, a Community Fundraiser at Rainbows, said: “James really is taking on the ultimate challenge and everyone at Rainbows wishes him all the best. We rely on the support of our fundraisers to keep the hospice open, particularly in these difficult times, and we simply can’t thank him enough for what he is doing. It will be tough but I am sure he will secretly enjoy it and we look forward to supporting him.”

To sponsor James, visit