12:00PM, Sunday 31 July 2016
A runner who lost more than five stone following a health warning is preparing to tackle a 10km race in memory of his father.
Simon Graves, who has transformed his fitness levels over the past four years, will take on the route in Henley on September 11 in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The 51-year-old only began running last August as part of a weight loss programme he started in 2012 after a warning from his doctor. At nearly 19st, both his blood pressure and cholesterol were high and the doctor gave him the choice of joining Slimming World or going to the gym.
Simon joined Slimming World, and then began running 5km park runs at Braywick. He has now lost more than 5st and will be doing his 50th park run on Saturday, August 13.
The Waltham Road resident said: “The people are very encouraging there, and it’s not a race. It’s my weekly run, I now do an extra lap of the park for the race in September. I just want to be able to finish.”
Simon’s first park run took him nearly three quarters of an hour, but his personal best is now 35 minutes 21 seconds.
The 10k run will be his longest to date and he will do it in honour of his dad, who died when Simon was 15.
He said: “My wife worked out the Henley run will be two days before the anniversary of when my dad died, so I’ll be thinking about him when I go round.
“I’m very proud of myself, I even found where the local park runs are when on holiday so I didn’t miss them.”
Simon, who works for the NHS, is raising money for Cancer Research UK and hopes to do the Henley 10km run in less than one hour and 20 minutes.
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