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Richard's Story

This is the story of Richard Durkin's goal to lose weight and one day run a marathon

This is me. Or should I say, was me. This picture was taken in the summer of 2002 when I was 14 years old. Back then, I weighed 16 stone. Hearing lots of stories of people losing masses of weight, I told myself these stories were just there to give people false hope. But with the help and inspiration from my older sister, Nick, my views were changed. In the space of a few months, my sister had begun to lose weight, with the effects being noticeable almost immediately. This made me realise that all these stories I'd heard were actually true. Having no excuse - and being competitive, I decided to start losing weight and catch up with Nick. Nick lost 3 stone in weight, reaching a healthy weight, and I managed to lose 5 stone in weight, also reaching a healthy weight. Neither of us could have lost the weight without the support of our parents, Diane & David, who were both hugely supportive throughout our efforts. Whilst losing the weight, I had a thought in the back of my mind- 'after I've got rid of this weight, it would be pretty cool to one day, complete a long distance run-' that's something I never got round to doing. That is, until...

Fast forward roughly three and a half years. April 2010 - An email was sent round to staff, inviting us to participate in the Sheffield Half Marathon. As I read the email, I couldn't help but remind myself of 'that thought' I had a few years ago. I was in. On the 25th April 2010, I started the Sheffield Half Marathon. I'd never ran so far in my life! As the starting horn went off at 9.35am, a 'Mexican Wave' of cheers went round the 5,500 people lined up on the track at the Don Valley Stadium. Heart thumping, adrenalin buzzing, hairs on end - I was off, finally able to break out into a run. I still couldn't believe I was actually doing this.

Half a mile to go - Don Valley in site. This was the pick-me-up I needed, and I couldn't wait for my turn to cross the line. Tiredness had been long set in, but somehow my legs kept going towards what I'd been dreaming of for the past week - to cross the finish line. The noise of the crowd louder as I came nearer the stadium, and a clock came into sight. 1 Hour 46 minutes and 12 seconds after the starting horn sounded, I crossed the finish line. Ecstatic I'd beaten my target, I decided to go and find my mum, dad and girlfriend- although I knew my girlfriend would be at the finish line in support, my parents had surprised me and made the 90-mile trip from home to support me.

I was hooked. One race was all it took.

After a more dedicated training regime, in which I joined the Sheffield Running Club - and with the help of Dave O, on the 3rd October 2010, I embarked upon my first full Marathon - the Clarendon Way Marathon. A tough 26.2 mile multi-terrain run from Salisbury to the picturesque Cathedral Town of Winchester.

I decided to run for Weight Concern as it's a charity that is primarily focused on helping people overcome obesity. Having being obese once, I appreciate how hard it is to change your ways and adopt a healthier lifestyle. However, when you achieve your ideal weight, whatever it may be, the feeling is great. My life changed as a result - I am happier, more confident and I do more things. Without the help and support I was given from my family, I don't think I would have achieved as much as I have done. Weight Concern can help give more support and advice to those wanting to lose weight, as well as offering advice and tips from experts who know the best ways to lose weight.

I wake up on the Sunday morning too a cold, rainy day. Ideal conditions for a race - if it wasn't off road… After warming up, all of the 391 Marathon runners line up, and are eager to go. The hooter sounds, and we're off. Trying to dodge my way round puddles, veteran runners are just getting it over and done with and get their feet wet - they know what lays in store. My white socks were gradually becoming a darker shade a grey with every step, and more mud was clinging to my trainers. After a few drink stops, and passing my parents who are following my progress at various stages, I reach the halfway stage around 12.25, about 10 minutes after the half marathon runners were started.

At about 22 miles, the steepest hill comes. It's too wet to climb whilst running - nobody runs up it, and everyone is left with walking up the toughest part of the course. I knew this would make the last four miles really tough, as I've just lost the only momentum I had. The next time I see my parents cheering me on, along with the Ryder Cup update (Europe were leading and looking strong to win), my parents said Steph had arrived at Winchester station on time, and was 3 miles down the road with Nicola ready to cheer me on.

I reach the top of yet another hill (the hills of Sheffield never prepared me for these hills), and had a quarter of mile to go, and it was downhill. The finish line comes in sight. Although there's no power finish today, I'm just as happy, if not more, to cross the line at 2.32pm - 4 hours 32 minutes and 42 seconds after I started. Finally, the thing I never ever thought I'd do- I'd just done it.

This is me now, with Mum, Dad, Nick and Steph, just after I completed the Marathon. This picture would never have been possible if it was not for the love and support I received from the four in the picture with me. I cannot put into words how amazing it felt to cross that finish line.

 

Richard raised an impressive and greatly appreciated £400 for Weight Concern in his fundraising efforts.

A great many thanks go to Richard and all who supported him.

Well done!

If you would like to fundraise for Weight Concern or make a donation, please click here or email us at enquiries@weightconcern.org.uk

 

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