'I feel like a million dollars' - Dereham man sheds 6.5st to run London Marathon
PUBLISHED: 09:32 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:01 11 April 2018
A Norfolk man who has lost nearly a third of his body weight is headed to London for one of the biggest physical challenges of his life.
Just two years ago Neil Irons, 47, of Dunlop Road, Dereham, weighed 21 stone and nine pounds.
Blaming his weight gain on “taking things for granted and over indulging”, Mr Irons, known locally as Buzz decided to follow his wife Tracy’s healthy eating regime and the weight began falling off.
“Now was the time to put things straight once and for all,” he said. “We decided together to enter the 2017 Norwich 10k.”
As well as taking part in the race, the couple raised more than £1,200 for Norfolk-based charity The Big C.
“It was a fantastic experience,” he said. “From there I knew I could go further.”
Soon after, the University of East Anglia maintenance manager entered and completed the Snetterton half marathon before applying for what he describes as “the ultimate challenge of the world’s greatest marathon”.
“The weight is falling off with the training. I’ve now lost six and a half stone - with 10 inches off my waistline - and feel a million dollars.”
Between them, the duo have lost 11 stone, the equivalent of 70 bags of sugar.
Next week Mr Irons will be facing his toughest challenge yet - the London Marathon.
On Sunday April 22, Mr Irons will be running in aid of Children with Cancer UK.
Thirty years ago, Tracy’s close friend Paul O’Gorman lost his short battle with Leukaemia. The O’Gorman family lost their daughter Jean nine months later.
“Crossing the finish line is my dream,” he said.
“My family are a hundred per cent behind me, Tracy especially, and they will be lining the route cheering me on.
“What really makes me smile is every time I see my grandchildren they ask me how training is going, how far have I run, if it hurts and if I can wave to them.”
- If you would like follow Mr Irons on the day his shirt number is 37427 or if you would like to donate visit his Just Giving page.