POLICE community support officer Ian Wright thought very little about his unhealthy lifestyle, even though he weighed more than 19 stone.
But after suffering a heart attack while on duty, Ian turned his life around and is now in training to take part in the Simplyhealth Great South Run next month.
The 54-year-old from Gosport was working for Hampshire Constabulary in August last year when he had the heart attack. He cycled to and from work, but didn’t do any other exercise.
Spurred on by his work colleagues, Ian has changed his diet, taken up running and lost an impressive six stone.
Ian said: ‘The heart attack was a huge shock to me and I had to undergo emergency surgery and have two stents fitted.
‘The shock made me realise that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle. I used to cycle to work but I weighed over 19 stone.’
He added: ‘The reality of how unhealthy I was didn’t hit me until this moment. I realised I needed to do something so I was not putting my wife and family in the position like I did then.
‘After the NHS invested time and effort into me, I wanted to repay all of the hard work of the people that came into contact with me when I was in hospital.’
Ian will be joining 20,000 others for the 10-mile Great South Run in Portsmouth on October 22.
He said he was running to raise awareness of the causes of heart attacks and as a personal challenge to see how far he has come in his recovery.
Ian said: ‘Before my heart attack, I wasn’t able to run any distance at all so this is huge progress for me.
‘I have made it to where I am thanks to determination and the huge support from my friends and family, who accompanied me on my first runs when I was not as confident.
‘It’s going to be an amazing moment when I cross that finish line.’
Entries for the Great South Run are still available by visiting Great South Run
To read previews and more runners’ stories, go to GSR previews