Peter loses four stone and when he ran a mile without stopping for the first time burst into tears. Now he is training for half marathons

PUBLISHED: 08:09 16 February 2018

BEFORE: Peter O'Connor loses four stone and is training to compete in the 10K GEAR race

BEFORE: Peter O'Connor loses four stone and is training to compete in the 10K GEAR race

Archant

A 56 year old man who lost four stone is now setting his sights on taking part in a year of competitive running.

AFTER: Peter O'Connor loses four stone and is training to compete in the 10K GEAR raceAFTER: Peter O'Connor loses four stone and is training to compete in the 10K GEAR race

At the end of April last year Peter O’Connor weighed 19st 11lb and was taking medication for high blood pressure.

Less than 12 months on he has shed four stones, lowered his blood pressure and is looking forward to taking part in the Asda Foundation Grand East Anglia Run 10K in May.

It is one of five 10Ks and two half marathons Peter intends to complete in 2018 as he puts his new found fitness to the test.

He said: “I was struggling with my fitness and health. My wife had taken up running the previous year and was always trying to persuade me to run with her, or even run-walk but I just didn’t feel I could and that it would cause more harm than good - how wrong I was.

AFTER Peter O'Connor loses four stone and is training to compete in the 10K GEAR raceAFTER Peter O'Connor loses four stone and is training to compete in the 10K GEAR race

“I started dieting at the end of April and we bought two mountain bikes. I found it extremely hard but with my wife’s encouragement I persevered and the weight started to fall off.”

Peter, of Murrow, then started running. A few short runs at first and in early June he managed a mile without stopping – an emotional experience.

He said: “I burst into tears and then felt terribly guilty for not doing all this much sooner.”

At his first park run in late June, Peter was “terrified of looking fat and silly.” He had no need. By now he had lost nearly two stone and, on doctor’s advice, had lowered his blood pressure medication.

“I ran my first 10K which was St Ives in July and loved it,” said Peter.

“I then ran the St Neots and Cambridge 10ks and felt brave enough to enter the Great Eastern Half Marathon in October, which was the hardest physical thing I had ever done and I completed it in 2hrs 59mins,

“So this year will be my first full year running. I have already ran the Snetterton 10k, and have signed up to run a further four 10ks and the Great Eastern Half Marathon and the Boston Half Marathon.

“I now weigh 15st 11lbs and just feel and look like a different person.”

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