Matt marathon man

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‘Marathon Man’ Matt aims for the hat trick in aid of the Blood Pressure Association

Completing one London Marathon is a great achievement for most, but three is the magic number for a Stroud sportsman who is gearing up to pound the capital’s streets for the third time this April.

Matt Pearce, a Healthy Lifestyles Development Officer for Stroud District Council, will certainly be practicing what he preaches as he prepares to take on the gruelling 26-mile course in aid of national charity the Blood Pressure Association.

Playing hockey for his local club keeps 26-year-old Matt pretty fit, but he is still managing to find time to run at least four to five times a week as part of his marathon training regime.

"I keep healthy myself by playing hockey, I teach Pilates and fitball classes at a local sports centre," said Matt. "I am also trying to keep to a strict diet so that I have more energy for my running."

Having already run the London Marathon in 2001 and 2002, Matt is keen to beat his previous times and come in at under four hours on April 22.

His efforts are being fully supported by the members of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Group he runs at Stratford Park Leisure Centre in Stroud, as many of them have high blood pressure themselves.

They are among the 16 million people in the UK who have the condition - that’s one in three adults – which is the major cause of strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.

"I wanted to run in aid of the Blood Pressure Association because I am very much aware of the increasing incidence of high blood pressure," said Matt. "In my line of work, I am constantly meeting people who suffer from this condition and know the implications it can have on people’s health."

"I’m aiming to raise £1,000 to £1,500 for the BPA and would love to hear from any local business or individuals who would like to sponsor me and help me reach my target."

Grant Usmar, the BPA’s Head of Fundraising, said: "We are delighted that Matt is running the London Marathon on behalf of the Blood Pressure Association and we wish him the best of luck.

"Too many people die unnecessarily each year due to uncontrolled blood pressure. The money Matt raises will be used to help people with high blood pressure get the practical information they need to control their condition."

Anyone wishing to sponsor Matt should visit

For a free high blood pressure information pack or to find out how you can support the BPA by taking part in this year’s British London 10K I July, please visit or call the BPA on 020 8772 4994.



  • The Blood Pressure Association is the UK’s blood pressure charity which provides information and support to people with high blood pressure and also raises awareness about prevention of the condition. For more information visit or call 020 8772 4994
  • The BPA encourages everyone to have a healthy lifestyle to maintain a healthy blood pressure and reduce their risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. The BPA’s top tips to lowering blood pressure are:
  1. Get your blood pressure checked and ‘Know Your Numbers!’® - it’s free, painless and can be done at your GP surgery and many high street and supermarket pharmacies
  2. Cut down on salt – adults should have no more than 6g a day – that’s a teaspoon. More than 75 per cent of the salt we consume is already in food so check the label. Remember that to work out the salt content you have to multiply sodium level by 2.5. If a product has more than 0.2 grams of sodium (0.5 grams of salt) per 100 grams of food you should leave it on the shelf
  3. Eat at least five – ideally seven to nine - portions of fruit and vegetables every day (Their potassium content helps to lower blood pressure)
  4. Be as active as you can – moderate physical activity, eg, brisk walking, five days a week will help get your pressure down
  5. Find and reach your ideal weight
  6. Keep an eye on alcohol – 2-3 units a day maximum for women and 3-4 for men. One unit is equal to a small glass of wine or a half pint of beer

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