Hitchin businessman completes 12 half marathons in less than eight months

Arnie Parmer with his medals

Arnie Parmer with his medals - Credit: Archant

A businessman who has just completed his 12th half marathon in less than eight months is calling on the Asian community to take stock of their health and get fit.

Gurbir Singh Parmar, known to many as Arnie, took up running in March after being inspired by his 52-year-old wife Delvinder.

The 54-year-old, who owns Parmars Food and Wine on Redhill Road in Hitchin, has gone on to complete the 13.1-mile distance a dozen times – including Luton, Stevenage and Uxbridge half marathons in the past three weeks. His best time is 1h 44mins, which he set in Peterborough.

He is now calling on the wider community, but especially the Indian population across Comet country, to take up the sport.

The father-of-two, who has run his business in Hitchin for the past 32 years, said: “One thing that I have noticed is that there are not many Asian people who run, and I want people to look at what I am doing and think ‘if he can do it so can I’.

“I think it is a great way to keep fit and also help prevent health problems later in life. When people start to get health problems at the age of 60, it can be too late to do anything about it.”

Mr Parmar, who lives in Lower Stondon, said that an Asian diet can be very unhealthy and said it was important to reach a balance between exercise and food.

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“Since I have started running I have made sure I eat more fruit and vegetables, as well as proteins, and less carbohydrates,” he said.

“You have to have an awareness of food, and by taking on this challenge I wanted to firstly prove to myself that I could do it and to encourage others too.

“I am part of the Hitchin running club and have had a lot of help from my coach and friends there. They have been really encouraging and supportive.”

Next year Mr Parmar has set his sights further afield and intends to run four marathons, with places secured for London and Toronto in Canada.

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