RUNNER Darin McCloud crossed the finish line of the London Marathon – and declared it the achievement of his life.
The 47-year-old finished the 26-mile course in 6hrs, 27mins 41secs. And in doing so he raised £1,200 for children’s charity, Look.
It’s a huge turnaround for Darin, of Stanley Road, Stamshaw, who once weighed 20 stone.
He said: ‘It was absolutely amazing. This is an achievement of a lifetime for me. I’m pleased with my time.
‘But the last 10 miles I had to walk because I suffered a calf injury.
‘This did get me down a bit, but I had said to myself that I was going to get to the finish line.’
Traffic warden Darin first featured in The News when he revealed he was trying to put on weight so he could qualify for a gastric band operation.
That was in January last year and he weighed 20 stone.
He then changed his mind – and has since been eating healthily and running to lose weight. He is now 14 stone.
‘As I completed the last few miles to the finish and the crowds were spurring me on, I couldn’t believe I’d managed to transform myself from being a couch potato to an athlete,’ added Darin.
‘I’m so happy with what I have achieved and I would like to say if people want to do something they should set that goal.
‘They should achieve it, no matter what it is.
‘I want people to read my story and realise they can do it.
‘Even if you get up and walk to the end of the street. It’s all about doing smaller things.
‘When I first started exercise I was using the Xbox so I didn’t have to go outside. But then gradually I built that up to walking and then running.
‘If I can do it then anyone can.’
Darin will be taking part in the Marwell 10k in May, the British 10k in June and the Great South Run in October.
And despite previously saying he would never run another marathon, Darin could be taking part in one next year.
He said: ‘It’s early days yet, but I might take part in the Edinburgh Marathon next year.
‘We’ll have to wait and see though.’