Originally from Canada I now live in Skelmenthope, I am a 49-year-old Canadian living in the UK and have been in West Yorkshire for over 16 years now. I live with my British wife of 15 years Wendy (a Barnsley lass), who I met on Match.com. I have two happy and healthy children, Ross (13) and Tasha (10). I started running in 2014 after a health scare and then achieved things I never thought possible. I told my story to people in bits and some said I should write a book.
The challenge of writing this book mirrored the challenges I had in learning how to run long distances as an adult. Both were journeys I never intended to be on, both had insurmountable obstacles I never thought I could navigate, and probably the most poignant, I had no experience in doing either. Without support from family, friends, professionals, and strangers my running journey, and this book, would never have happened.
My book is a true story that follows my journey from sitting on a lumpy futon, overweight, out of shape and picking crisp shards out of my navel, to me running a 50K ultra-marathon. It’s not a new story it’s just told from the perspective of a “grassroots runner” who just wanted to finish the races I entered. It’s about my struggles, my achievements, the barriers, the pain, the people I met and how I pushed myself to the brink while trying to achieve things I never thought possible.
My story is not a fat-to-fit story, it’s a fat-to-fat story; I found out too late in my journey that running miles and miles without considering other factors was not necessarily the best way to lose weight, but the benefits of my running journey transcended what the scales told me every Monday morning.
My story may not appeal to the elite runner, as there will be no mention of 6- to 8-minute miles, finishing in the top ten, or any Olympic qualifications. My story is more for the wannabe runner, the runner who is just starting out and the runner who feels more comfortable running 14- to 18-minute miles; the runner who will check the time of the previous year’s race results to see what the slowest time was before they enter; the runner who has to phone the race organiser to see if there is a cut off time in the longer races; or the runner who will walk just out of view of the people at the finish, then turn on the jets for the last 100-metre sprint finish. All things I have done during my running journey (and still do).
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