Party guy’s run in with reality

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IT was on a morning six years ago that Daniel Heathcote had what he calls his ‘light switch moment’.

“I came downstairs with a hangover after a night out, put the TV on, and watched the London Marathon,” he said.

At almost 19 stone, with a party lifestyle and a bulging midriff, Daniel (31) from Stonegravels, was far from the peak of physical fitness. But after seeing people pounding the pavements in the world-famous 26-mile race, and feeling increasingly unhappy with his own appearance, he made a life changing decision.

“I looked in the mirror and didnt like what I had become and wanted to change - my light switch moment. I flicked the switch and overnight I changed my habits.”

He donned his trainers, took to the streets and began training for his first road race.

“I was inspired by it all,” he said. “I just went from there.”

But it wasn’t an easy journey, with Daniel struggling to run the length of his road at first.

“I found it terrible when I started. I was like something from Run Fatboy Run.”

After running in several events including the Dronfield 10k, he got a place in the London Marathon, and a year and a half after his journey began, he completed the course.

“Since then I have done six marathons, 15 half marathons and my long term ambition is to get into the 100 marathon club.”

And the fruits of his labour are not only evident in his newly honed physique, but his once high blood pressure has dropped and he can chase around after his two young daughters.

He said: “I urge anyone who maybe stuck in a rut, who may smoke, drink or lead an unhealthy lifestyle to just get out there.”

l Have you been inspired to change your lifestyle? E-mail