IT consultant Andy King has ditched junk food and beer and taken up running – losing more than five stone as a result.
Andy, 42, of Southampton Road, Fareham, decided to change his lifestyle after realising he was out of shape back in 2013.
Now he is set to join up to 25,000 runners on the start line of the Morrisons Great South Run as it marks its 25th year in Portsmouth on Sunday, October 25.
It will be the third time Andy has run the course, which is the world’s leading 10-mile running event – and in between he has also taken part in competitive swimming and more than 20 triathlon competitions.
Andy decided to change his lifestyle two years ago after a gentle push from his wife Antonia prompted him to join Slimming World.
‘After my first Slimming World meeting I was focused on getting fit again, and went straight out for a run,’ he said.
‘I haven’t had a sip of beer since that day and am celebrating 10 years since I ditched the cigarettes in 2005.’
Andy, who once tipped the scales at nearly 19 stone, now weighs less than 14 stone and is hoping to beat his best time of 1hr 14mins at this year’s Morrisons Great South Run.
‘I like the Morrisons Great South Run, I like Portsmouth and I think that 10 miles is a nice distance to run,’ said Andy.
‘It’s a great day out and the support you get from the public spurring you on around the course is really heart-warming.
‘I don’t do a lot of training – I tend to keep busy running other events to keep my fitness up.
‘Five and a half stone is a lot of weight to lose and exercising has helped me keep my body in good shape.
‘Now I really enjoy keeping active and it has completely changed my lifestyle for the better.’
The Morrisons Great South Run course takes in Portsmouth landmarks including HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, and ends with a final two miles along Southsea seafront.
The event will take place in Portsmouth on Sunday, October 25. Enter at www.greatrun.org/south
How to get involved
Thousands of runners will be cheered on as they take part in the Morrisons Great South Run on Sunday, October 25 – and you could be among them.
The run, marking its 25th year in Portsmouth, is renowned as the world’s leading 10-mile running event.
The fast and flat course is suitable for runners of varying abilities.
The route begins on Southsea seafront and takes in Old Portsmouth before entering the Historic Dockyard.
Here you’re granted permission to run past serving Royal Navy ships and HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose museum.
After exiting the Dockyard you reach the halfway point on Winston Churchill Avenue, before making your way back towards Southsea Common, where you’ll complete the final two miles on the scenic seafront.
For those not quite ready to take on 10 miles, Saturday October 24 sees the Morrisons Great South Run 5K. And for the youngsters there’s the Morrisons Junior and Mini Great South Run events, also on October 24.
Whether it’s for a personal fitness challenge or to raise money for a cause close to your heart, signing up is easy.
Simply go to greatrun.org/south and follow the steps online.
n Are you taking part for a good cause or personal reason? Email us at email@example.com or tweet @portsmouthnews using the hashtag #reasontorun