AN IT CONSULTANT who caught the marathon bug has written a book about the challenges of finding time for his new hobby while working full-time.

Stuart Hayden completed the London Marathon for the first time in 2009 after an eye injury stopped him from playing football.

Having raised money for a charity which supports the visually impaired Stuart, who lives in Letchworth GC, was soon itching for another challenge and ran the 26.2-mile course for a second time the following year.

Not content to stop there, he set his sights on breaking the four-hour barrier and succeeded with a finishing time of three hours and 42 minutes at the New York Marathon in November last year.

“As soon as I got on the plane back from New York I started jotting things down,” said the 42-year-old, who works for a computer technology firm.

“I’ve played football for local teams and have always been sporty but I’d never been a runner. When I first ran a marathon in under four hours it was an amazing achievement for me, someone that hadn’t run seriously before.

“I knew I wanted to write a book about my experience as when you go into shops looking for books about how to run a marathon you find ones written by elite runners like Paula Radcliffe. Every other marathon training book doesn’t describe about the daily working life of the person training for a marathon and this is why I believe the book is so unique.

“It’s a realistic account of me and the challenges I was faced with to run the marathon. My book is about me as an author training for a marathon – the diet, the clothing, the time it takes to train fully – while working as an IT consultant in a busy day job. It’s about how I managed to juggle my training with my workload each day and how if you put your mind to something then you can achieve anything.”

Stuart, who grew up in Hitchin, continues to run regulalrly and earlier this month he completed the French Riviera Marathon from Nice to Cannes in a personal best time of three hours and 34 minutes.

His book, The 9-5 Marathon Man, is available to buy via with discussions to stock it at David’s Bookshop in Eastcheap, Letchworth GC, currently ongoing.