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Ray’s half way to his nifty 60
IT is turning out to be a year to remember for Ray Stephens after he set himself a goal of completing 60 challenges, one for each of his 60 years.
Ray compiled a list of tasks shortly before his 60th birthday in July, with the aim of raising money for several charities close to his heart.
Three months on he has completed almost half of his list and, with plenty of time before he turns 61, he is confident of fulfilling the lot.
Ray, a home carer who lives in the town centre, said: “I’ve definitely been very busy, but it’s been a lot of fun and I’ve had some great experiences.
“I’ve done loads of different things from long races to driving sports cars. I’ve still got quite a few things to do but I will definitely complete the list.”
His latest challenge is this weekend when he takes part in the Great South Run, close to Portsmouth.
He said: “One of the things on my list was to do both the Great North Run and the Great South Run. I did one a few weeks ago, so I’m doing the other this weekend.
“I am feeling so much healthier now. I’ve been working with a fitness coach, doing intense training, which has made such a difference.
“One of the tasks was to set a personal best in a race and I think I can do that in the Royal British Legion’s Run 2 Remember 11k in November.”
While many of Ray’s tasks have been physical exertions, including doing a triathlon, others have been more light-hearted life improvements.
One was to make a shelter for his two cats, Spud and Neil, so they will be covered in the rain, as well as fitting a soft-closing toilet seat.
He said: “Some challenges are a little bit silly and only meant to be a bit of fun but they add to the enjoyment.
“One challenge was to take Julie, my girlfriend, on a never to be forgotten romantic weekend away. Earlier this year we both went away to Jersey and had a wonderful time.
“These tasks are not particularly life-changing but have given me days I will never forget, such as driving a Ferrari and Aston Martin on the same day.”
One of the main reason’s behind Ray’s challenges has been to raise funds for several cancer charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, as well as Prospect Hospice, after seven of his friends were diagnosed with cancer.
So far, he has managed to raise more than £2,000 through sponsorship.
He said: “The main reason I am doing this is to make as many people as possible aware of the fantastic work these charities do.
“I felt powerless to help, so this is my way of doing something.”
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