Try the Great South Run or the smaller event to get going

SUPER SLIMMER Darin McCloud
SUPER SLIMMER Darin McCloud
HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

RICK JACKSON: The patriotism inspired by HMS Queen Elizabeth is wonderful

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THE Great South Run – the world’s premier 10-mile race and it’s on our doorstep.

This was the first race I ever ran, so it has an even more special place in my heart.

This year will be my third year of entry, and I plan to run it every year for the rest of my life.

Last year I ran with long- term injuries and had to walk the last four miles.

I finished two minutes and 20 seconds slower than my first run.

I am now injury-free and enjoying a new lease of running life.

I am now training for this year’s race with excitement that I can achieve the goals I set out at the start of the year for the GSR – to run injury-free, to be at my lowest weight ever (work in progress on that one) and to run in under two hours.

Two weeks ago I got signed off from the hospital for one of my two co-morbidities –sleep apnoea – which shows that by changing your lifestyle and exercising ( for me, running and road cycling) and having a little patience you can regain your life.

Being in control of my life is just amazing, I have done so many amazing things since I started my journey that otherwise I would not be capable of.

My attitude to exercise was so different three years ago – I never thought I would run round the block, let alone along the seafront – so anyone can do it.

The great thing now is that the GSR is a weekend event and has a 5k (three-mile) run on the Saturday, so why not give it a go?

It’s great fun. You won’t be alone and the best bit is you get to feel better.

It’s on our doorstep, take advantage of a great event or come and watch the race – the vibe is amazing.