Health kick helped 56-year-old Stevenage man shed six stone in just eight months
- Credit: Archant
A man who only took up running a year ago has completed more than 30 events and raised more than £2,000 for good causes.
John Walsh, who lives in Stevenage Old Town, was encouraged by a friend to take part in a 5km event in July last year, following a health kick which saw him lose six stone in just eight months.
The 56-year-old said: “I loved it and could not stop running.”
Over the past year he has entered 12 organised runs, 20 park runs, and covered more than 2,000 kilometres.
John’s races have included last year’s Standalone 10k in Letchworth, the Stevenage Half Marathon, and the British Heart Foundation 10k in Knebworth.
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He finished the London Marathon in April in 4hrs 28m 59s and managed a personal best of 2.04.48 in the Hitchin Hard Half Marathon in June.
He has raised more than £2,000 for a number of good causes, including the Shaw Trust, which helps people with disabilities to find and sustain employment or enjoy more independent living.
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His latest achievement was completing the Berlin Marathon in 4:56:03, raising £645 for Get Kids Going – a charity which helps disabled young people to participate in sport.
The dad-of-one, who trains in Stevenage with his dog Baxter, said: “I guess for me it’s the fact that no matter where you are today, you can change your life.
“The fact I have got fitter and helped other people through the generosity of my friends and family, all from simply running, I just love it.
“Thank you to all my wonderful, generous, long-suffering friends who have supported me. They are all amazing.
“Knowing I have them on my side helps to keep me focused and training, even when I am tired, fed up or the weather is bad.”
To support John and Get Kids Going, visit the Virgin Money charity giving website and search for JohnWalsh58.