Ian Has South Run In His Sights After Shedding 6 Stone

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Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run remain open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/South

A police community support officer who had a severe heart attack while on duty managed to turn his life around by taking up running and losing six stone.

Ian Wright, from Gosport, was working for Hampshire Constabulary when he suffered a heart attack while he was on duty in August 2016.

Ian weighed over 19 stone but the true reality of his unhealthy lifestyle was not apparent to him until the trauma took place. Ian cycled to and from work as part of his duties but he never took part in any other exercise.

The heart attack that he suffered was enough for him to realize that he needed to improve his eating and exercise habits to make sure he did not cause further harm to himself.

Ian was encouraged by his work colleagues to take up running in order to live a healthier lifestyle. He changed his diet and built up his exercise from a two-minute walk and gradually turned his walking into running. He dropped a huge 84lbs and now weighs a healthy 13 stone.

Within just one year, Ian is ready to take on 10 miles at the Simplyhealth Great South Run on Sunday 22 October.

Ian, 54, said: “While I was working as a Police Community Support Officer, I had a heart attack when I was on duty. “It was a huge shock to me and I had to undergo emergency surgery and have two stents fitted.

“The shock made me realize that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle. I used to cycle to work but I weighed over 19 stone.

“The reality of how unhealthy I was didn’t hit me until this moment. I realised I needed to do something so I was not putting my wife and family in the position like I did then.

“The NHS invested time and effort into me and I wanted to repay all of the hard work of the people that came into contact with me when I was in hospital.

“I decided to change my diet and control the portions that I ate. I also started going out for walks as part of my rehabilitation and then I gradually got more confident and started running.

“The weight began to fall off me. I now weigh just over 13 stone and run at least five times a week and I have a lot more energy and enjoy spending time with my granddaughter.”

Ian will join 20,000 others for the Simplyhealth Great South Run, the world’s leading 10 mile running event. The fast and flat course takes runners on a tour of Portsmouth, giving participants the unique opportunity to run through Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home to HMS Victory and the Mary Rose.

Ian is running to raise awareness about the causes of heart attacks and also a personal challenge, to show how far he has come in his recovery.

He added: “Before my heart attack, I was not able to run any distance at all so this is huge progress for me.

“Running has given me extra energy and has made me feel fitter and more confident in myself and my abilities.

“I’ve made it to where I am thanks to determination and the huge support from my friends and family, who accompanied me on my first runs when I was not as confident.

“As I grew in confidence, I decided to extend my journey by signing up to the Simplyhealth Great South Run.

“I was so surprised how running has become so enjoyable when at first I considered it a punishment.

“Contemplating this over 12 months ago would have been beyond my belief so it’s going to be an amazing moment when I cross that finish line.”

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run remain open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/South