Alnwick man gets fit for fifty with Kielder Marathon challenge
An Alnwick man who has quit smoking, shed 5 stone and set himself a personal challenge of completing his first marathon before he reaches 50, has won a free place in the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon.
Jon Duffy’s inspirational story struck a chord with the competition judges who were impressed by his personal journey to reduce his weight and improve his health.
Only a few years back Jon was overweight and a smoker. After undergoing two knee operations which resulted in further weight gain Jon decided to make some long term changes to his lifestyle to improve his fitness and quality of life.
Such has been the success of Jon’s quest that he is now set to tackle the 26 mile marathon track around Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Reservoir on Sunday, 8th October.
“ I put on a lot of weight after my knee operations and knew I had to make some changes or my health would suffer. I quit smoking and took up running to try and lose the weight. I took it very gently at first and didn’t like it at all, but I persevered, building up my fitness and stamina. It is amazing, if you stick at it, how quickly you improve and I soon started to enjoy running. Now it is a big part of my life. It’s cheap and you can run virtually anywhere. ”
Jon joined Alnwick Harriers and said the club welcomed him with open arms. He has now progressed so much that he runs in the top group and competes in 5km,10km,10mile runs and half marathons.
“ I’ve never attempted a full marathon but with my 50th birthday looming next year, I thought it was the right time to set myself a big challenge. Kielder is such a fantastic setting so I thought I’d give it a go. If I can complete this it will give me a tremendous sense of achievement.”
“ My fitness now is better than it was when I was 18. I run three or four times a week and there is now no greater feeling than putting on your trainers and going for a run. ”
The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2017 is run by Events of the North, a company led by Olympians Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley, in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, and Northumberland County Council.
The weekend’s events are all based around Northumbrian Water’s picturesque Kielder Reservoir and waterside sites and whether it’s the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k or the Run Bike Run, the views for athletes and spectators are spectacular.
Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure, and Culture, said:
“ Congratulations to Jon on being one of our worthy prize winners. It is easy to see why the Kielder Marathon has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar with people just like Jon setting themselves new personal challenges and travelling far and wide to take part.
“A huge reason for its popularity is its spectacular setting; It really is the country’s most beautiful marathon and by offering a range of events across the weekend from 10kms to the full marathon, this widens its appeal and makes taking part achievable to so many more people. ”
For further details log on to www.kieldermarathon.com