Update on my Fit at 40 challenge

This content is 13 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my Fit at 40 challenge including some of the personal reasons that are driving me to lose weight, keep fit and raise money for The Prostate Cancer Charity.

I said I’d keep people informed on my progress and I’m pleased to say that, this weekend, the scales finally tipped in at 106kg, which is just under 16st 10lb, meaning I’ve lost my first stone!

As for the running, I’m consistently getting out 2 or 3 times a week (usually 3) and adding some cycling in between – I’ve had some problems over recent weeks as I’m running in the evenings when I’m tired/run-down but I am making some progress – my times for the loop around town (about 2.65 miles/4.25 km) have been dropping (although I’d like them to drop a bit more!), and I’m pushing a little further on the weekends too with a run around the local country park (about 3.4 miles/5.5 km).

I have to say that the support I’ve received so far has been amazing – and that support has taken a number of forms – financial, practical, and motivational:

  • Lots of people have donated at my JustGiving page and many more have promised support when I write to tell them how I’m doing – after all, this is a long term challenge and it’s great motivation when people add a little more to the pot each time I take a (metaphorical) step forward.
  • Some of of the guys in the street have provided physical support by accompanying me on my runs – it’s good exercise for all of us, and it’s great motivation to make me run (and the light evenings should help more).
  • There’s also been some great financial support from my family and friends (who would all like to see a fitter, healthier Mark), including one friend and former colleague who surprised me by showing just how well he knows me. Garry Martin has generously offered to match donations from anyone who knows us both, up to a ceiling of £500. There’s a catch though – if I don’t complete the challenge, Garry pays out nothing. That’s because he figured it’s too easy for me to go part way, congratulate myself and say “that’s enough”. He’s right too – so we’ve agreed some realistic and challenging targets that I need to meet. I need to get down to 14st 7lb by my 40th birthday next year, and run at least 3 races of 10km or above.  That’s going to be hard, but it’s also realistic – and achievable… although I’d like to hope that I might exceed these targets too.

The next challenge is the Harrold Pit Run, on 30 April, before my big push for the BUPA London 10K on 30 May – I’m hoping that I can shed at least another half stone over that period too, as lugging my not-inconsiderable bulk around must be making things harder!

If you’d like to support me in my quest, either as a one-off sponsorship, or as a “micro-donation” of £1 or £2 each time I lose a chunk of weight or run a race, please visit my JustGiving page. If you’re a UK tax payer, please check the option to add gift aid (which means your £1 is worth £1.28 to charity). If you know Garry too, then remember that your donation counts twice (your £1 plus gift aid, is effectively £2.56 when Garry matches it).

Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far – and thanks for your continued support.

My Fit at 40 Challenge

This content is 13 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

JustGiving - Sponsor me please!I’ve just launched the JustGiving page for my “Fit at 40” challenge.

“Fit at 40” is my challenge to lose weight, get fit, and raise money to fight Prostate Cancer, the most common cancer in men.

I’m asking my friends, family, colleagues, and everyone else to sponsor me, but it’s not for a single event.

This is what I’m doing, and why…

It’s about me

At the time of writing, I’m 38 years old, about 5 stone heavier than I’d like to be (I’m about 17st 10lbs – or 113kg), and I’ve been this way for a few years now.

I know the problem: I like food; I don’t do enough exercise; and I’m greedy. But I really want this to change – with your help…

Last year (2010), I ran the Harrold Pit Run, a 4.8Km race in a village a few miles away from where I live. In a few short weeks I worked hard to get from being unable to run to the end of the street, to running my first race, and I loved the experience.

I tried to keep up the running but I’ve struggled to keep going by pounding the pavements alone.  Like cutting out the poor diet, I need something to motivate me and, after I ran another 5Km race in Studland last summer, my wife came up with the idea of combining running, dieting, and fund-raising.

It’s for my Dad

On 6 May 2009, I received a phone call to tell me my Father was in hospital.  I knew he was receiving treatment for Prostate Cancer, but the doctors had thought everything was under control, telling him that he was more likely to die of something else before the cancer got him…

But the doctors were wrong – the cancer had spread, Dad was undergoing chemotherapy, and things were not looking good.

Dad died in the early hours of 9 May 2009. He was only 63.

It’s for every man

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • Every year 36,000 men are told they have prostate cancer.
  • 96% of men don’t know where the prostate is.
  • In the early stages of the disease, you have no symptoms.
  • At 50 you have a 1 in 11 chance of developing prostate cancer.
  • Prostate cancer kills one man every hour in the UK.

There are several charities dedicated to prostate cancer research, support, information and campaigning but I’ve chosen to support The Prostate Cancer Charity because they work across all of these areas.

It’s about helping me, remembering my Dad, and potentially benefiting every other man

By sponsoring me, you can help me stay motivated to shift that weight, get fit, and run a number of races for charity. In return, I’ll donate all of the funds raised via this website to The Prostate Cancer Charity and, because I can’t support multiple charities through JustGiving, I’ll aim to support other charities working in this field, such as The Prostate Cancer Research Centre with some of the offline donations [Update February 2012: whilst it was a nice idea to support multiple charities in this way, it’s not been practical and all funds raised to date have been sent to The Prostate Cancer Charity].

I’m asking my friends, family, colleagues, and everyone else to sponsor me but, instead of me asking you to sponsor me for a single event, I’m going to keep going until my 40th birthday, in just over a years’ time.

Each time I lose another stone (that’s just over 6kg), I’ll ask you to come back and sponsor me some more. And each time I increase the distance or run in a major race, I’ll come calling again.

I hope to run at least one 5Km race over the winter months; and I’ve entered the BUPA London 10,000 next May too (where my running partner will be Eileen Brown). We’ll see how I go with the 5Km and 10Km runs, but it would be nice to think I might make it to a half-marathon before the end of my challenge in April 2012.

If my friends, family, colleagues and online contacts could sponsor me just one or two pounds each time I either run a race or lose a chunk of weight, I’ll be able to reach my goal of raising £2000 for prostate cancer charities.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe – JustGiving have pledged never to sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to The Prostate Cancer Charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – I raise more money, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Thank you for helping me to be Fit at 40.