First and last time...

ON THE ROAD Darin McCloud in training
ON THE ROAD Darin McCloud in training
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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This will be the first – and last – London Marathon for super-slimmer Darin McCloud.

The traffic warden from Stamshaw, Portsmouth has been rigorously training for the past few months, running the entire stretch of Southsea seafront several times in one day.

It’s a massive turnaround for the 46-year-old, who 18 months ago made headlines in The News as he piled on the pounds to qualify for weight-loss surgery.

Instead, he adopted a healthy eating programme and has now shed six stone from his 20st frame.

Darin, of Stanley Road, says: ‘This will be my first and only marathon.

‘I will still be running afterwards, but it will be half marathons in future.

‘I am both nervous and excited at the moment.

‘This week is supposed to be easy in terms of resting and relaxing.

‘It’s just the build-up at the moment - the magnitude of what you are about to achieve.

‘I just want to get on the start line and get going.’

Darin will be running the marathon alongside Becca Jones, from London, and Dawn Walton, from Dundee, who he has met through a healthy lifestyle programme called Thinking Slimmer.

He has been eating large quantities of pasta, rice and jacket potatoes to fuel his muscles before the race.

He says; ‘The biggest thing I have learned is that I can now do a long run and the following day I can go about my normal business while still being able to move.’

Darin will be raising money for Look, a charity that supports children with sight problems.