Super-slimmer to run marathon
A Blackpool-born super slimmer will run his first marathon this month after losing a huge 10st.
Brendan O’Donnell lost 160lbs and is one of a team of 13 who will be representing Slimming World in the 36th annual Virgin Money London Marathon.
Brendan had struggled to tie his own shoe laces but now he will achieve something he never thought was possible.
The group is raising money for Cancer Research UK and aim to raise awareness of how keeping a healthy weight improves health, including preventing the risk of developing some types of cancer.
The 32-year-old, from South Shore, had been overweight for most of his life, with his weight creeping up from being a child at school right through into adulthood.
Brendan said: “I was nicknamed ‘Big Bee’ as a child and struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember – often hiding behind making jokes about my size.
“Even as an adult the most activity I did was a round of golf, and I struggled to tie my shoelaces.”
In 2013, when Brendan’s weight reached 25st, he joined his local Slimming World group with his wife, after finding out there was a local group nearby.
Developing a passion for running and overhauling his eating habits, he hasn’t looked back since.
Brendan has since taken part in 10k races and three half-marathons. London will be his first marathon.
He says: “I can’t believe how far I’ve come in the past few years and all the incredible changes I’ve made to my lifestyle. I’m happier and healthier and by losing weight I’ve reduced my chances of developing a range of health problems including some types of cancer.
“I’ve really found a love for running and I can’t believe I’m now going to be running the big one this year – my dream – the London Marathon! I can’t wait for the atmosphere on race day and to cross that finish line.”
In 2014, Brendan won the national title of Slimming World’s Man of the Year and has appeared in their national advertising campaign.
Slimming World Consultant Dawn Ireland runs Brendan’s weekly group sessions. She said: “Brendan is a real inspiration to us all and we are so proud of him.
“He had no idea what a huge transformation he was about to begin and certainly no idea that he would one day be running the London Marathon.”