"In October 2013, in preparation for my 50th birthday in September 2014, I decided that I wanted to run a 10km road race before I reached the big five-0! So out came the Wii Fit and off I went… slowly and without any great enthusiasm of achieving my aim."
It wasn’t until December that a friend recommended that I apply for the Biggest Loser challenge organised by The Hospice of St Francis – so I applied, was thrilled to be accepted and started the challenge in January.
With the help and support of our local sports centre and a very enthusiastic Harriet from the Hospice, I set about rising to the challenge to become slimmer and an awful lot fitter.
After 12 weeks of the diet, the sweat, the tears and the tantrums (I never did like power hoop) I managed to lose 53.5lbs and be crowned the Hospice of St Francis Biggest loser 2014. A feat I still look back on with amazement.
In May this year I was talking to the Hospice about my goal to run a 10km road race before September, my disappointment in not being able to get a place in The Great North Run and having gained this new found fitness saying that I didn’t want to waste it .
Within 5 minutes of that conversation I was entered and had a place in the Great North Run in aid of the Hospice!....it was at this point that I realised that one should research distances prior to signing on the dotted line – I didn’t realise it was half marathon - 13.1 miles or 21kms to be precise!
Slightly further than the 10km I was planning to run. Still, onwards and upwards. With regular training runs I set my mind to this new challenge. I clocked up 279 miles throughout my training which means I actually ran from my house in Hemel Hempstead past Newcastle and into Whitley Bay.
On September 7th with the celebrations of my alcohol free 50th birthday still fresh in my memory I, along with 60,000 hardy souls…and Mo Farah, set out on the 13.1 miles. This was a day I shall never forget – so emotional and truly awe inspiring!
Memories of my late Dad helped me finish in a time of 2 hours 47 minutes and 6 seconds.A very tough and hot race which I would recommend to anyone wanting to take on a challenge!
I’m resting my running legs with some light training in preparation for MudPack in October then switching from two legs to two wheels as I take on London to Paris on the bike in April. Oh and to top it off next year also the Manchester Great run, 10 km in London in June and another crack at the Great North Run next September.
It’s fair to say that I am starting to pay back in a small way some of the kindness and compassion that the Hospice showed my Family when my Dad passed away in September 2011.
Inspired by Mark? Follow in his footsteps and Sign Up to our Biggest Loser 2015. The Great North Run was a day I shall never forget – so emotional and truly awe inspiring!
Memories of my late Dad helped me finish in a time of 2 hours 47 minutes and 6 seconds. With regular training runs I set my mind to this new challenge. I clocked up 279 miles throughout my training which means I actually ran from my house in Hemel Hempstead past Newcastle and into Whitley Bay.