To enter the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon, visit: Greatrun.org/Bristol

A mum who lost almost six stone is set to take on her first ever running challenge at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon.

Sarah Byfield, from Bristol, set herself the personal challenge of losing five stone and taking part in a sky dive by the end of last year. She had always struggled with her weight and at her heaviest she was a size 20 and weighed over 17 stone.

In the January of 2017 she decided that enough was enough and joined her local Slimming World class, where she learned to swap the takeaways she would eat every week for tasty and healthy alternatives.

Within a year, Sarah lost five and a half stone and took part in her sky dive ealrier this year. She is now a svelte size 12.

She then began looking for her next challenge in 2018 and decided to sign up to the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon to celebrate her weight loss and next achievement.

Sarah, 36, said: “I have dieted for most of my adult life but I have never had much success in shifting the weight.

“In January last year I just decided enough was enough. I joined my local Slimming World group and just really clicked with the method.

“I found myself enjoying the food I was eating and the weight seemed to drop off me week after week.

“I always loved cooking but now I cook everything from scratch and very rarely eat takeaways, which were a staple of my diet before – I've only had one Indian takeaway on the last 18 months and that used to be pretty much every Saturday night!

“My young son was my biggest cheerleader. He came to every meeting with me and would cheer and clap at every half stone award I achieved and when I got to my target he stood up in front of the class and told everyone how proud he was of me.

“I like to set myself personal challenges each year. Last year was to lose 5 stone and to do a SkyDive and I managed to do both!

“I decided this year that I would like to train and take part in a running event.”

Sarah will join over 10,000 people who will rise to their own challenge at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon.

The thousands of runners will take on the 13.1 mile course through Bristol's awe-inspiring surroundings, including the Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, before crossing the finish line in the city centre.

Sarah, who works in marketing, decided to enter the event as part of a team with her colleagues from Sunlife, who are running to raise money for the company's chosen charity of the year, Alice Activities.

She added: “My weight loss has made a huge difference to me both physically and emotionally.

“I feel so much more confident in my own skin and health wise I have never felt fitter, especially now I am training for a half marathon.

“The way I dress has changed too – no more hiding behind drab clothes! And to be able to walk in to any shop and know that they will have clothes to fit me is amazing.

“I always want to look back on a year and be able to say “I did that”.

“As there is a group of us doing the run, in work we encourage each other and check in with each other on how the training is going. The fact that we are doing it for such a great cause is keeping me motivated too.”

To enter the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon, visit: Greatrun.org/Bristol