A RUNNER has made a dramatic transformation from couch potato to marathon man after successfully beating the bulge.
Kevin Reid, from Ardersier, was encouraged by workmates to take up a running challenge, and when he pulled up after just 500m he decided to shed some timber and get fit.
Now, less than two years on, the father of two has lost almost 5st and has completed four marathons, with a fifth just over the horizon.
IT worker Kevin will take on the inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon on Sunday, May 21, to complete a phenomenal turnaround.
Weighing in at 15st in February 2015, Kevin was persuaded by workmates at Inverness-based LifeScan to take on the 5x50 Challenge, where participants run or cycle 5k a day for five days.
But for the 39 year old, it wasn't that easy - with his failure spurring him on to enrol on the Couch 2 5K programme where he was well and truly bitten by the running bug.
"I was a non-runner though did fair bit of walking," explained Kevin. "So, I set out on March 1 to see how well I could run 5k in preparation for the challenge. I failed miserably after around 500metres, and ended up walking.
"Realising just how unfit I was I searched the web and found the Couch to 5k app. I proceeded to do that for four weeks almost daily.
"Then I built up to the half marathon distance. By the end of the challenge came the idea of running a marathon. By this point I had lost 10kg in weight and running was part of my life. It became addictive.
"I thought 'why don't I just do a marathon'. I'd always wanted to do one, I've lost all this weight so why don't I give it a go?
Now a healthier 10st 10lbs, Kevin feels the benefit of his lifestyle change, and is looking forward to tackling the first-ever Stirling Scottish Marathon, which takes on a picturesque route through some of Scotland's beautiful countryside.
He said: "It has made a difference in my lifestyle. I no longer get out of breath climbing the stairs.
"If someone said to me 21 months ago I would have done four marathons with a fifth on the way, I'd have laughed at them. Working up to a marathon seemed natural. Because I was running every day I was stronger and I didn't suffer any injuries while training. I was losing weight and getting faster.
"After taking on four marathons, Stirling appealed to me as it's the first ever one. I plan to do it every year and in a few years time it would be nice to have done every single one.
"It looks to be a good course, it's not far from home, there's lots to see on the way round and I'm looking forward to it.
"There are some marathons that start outside a city and finish nowhere near it so it'll be nice to finish in Stirling."
Kevin aims to dip under 3hrs 15 in Stirling, which would secure good-for-age qualification for some of the world's major marathons such as Boston or New York City. It is stunning progress which Kevin is rightly proud of.
He added: "Looking at my times, I have ran four marathons under four hours. I'm quite proud of that - many people have tried to get under four hours and have failed. I think it's clearly something that I'm designed for.
"If I stopped running I would put the weight back on so that's my incentive to run.
"The biggest thing for me is the time for myself, having some time to think, to listen to a bit of music, to switch off. Running is not about how much faster you are than someone else, it's about how well you do yourself.
"That's one of the biggest things. It's only you against yourself and nobody else."
5x50 Challenge started with a vision to make people who are inactive become more active. Challengers become part of something that inspires, motivates, encourages you to live a healthier lifestyle. 5x50 Challenges are open to all. Individuals or groups regardless of age, health condition/ disability or fitness level can take part.
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