Del Singh, a 60-year-old man from Peterborough, is taking on the AJ Bell Great North 10k on Sunday 2 July. Del who has lost 10 stone (140 lbs) in weight is also undertaking the remarkable feat of running 10 x 10k races across the UK to raise funds for victims of the recent earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. His story is proof positive that it’s never too late to get active, inspire others, and contribute to humanitarian causes.
Del remembers his life in 2014 when, at 52 years old, he weighed approximately 24.5 stone (155kg) and was grappling with a slew of health complications. “I was suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes because of my obesity. The litany of painkillers for back pain made life even more difficult,” he recalls.
Dissatisfied with numerous unsuccessful diets and faced with the revelation that he did not qualify for gastric surgery on the NHS, Del decided to turn things around privately. “I underwent a sleeve gastrectomy in October 2014 that completely changed my relationship with food. I began to lose weight rapidly, shedding around 1 stone a month,” he shares.
The transformation didn’t stop there. Just six months post-operation, Del found himself revitalised. “I felt like someone had plugged me into the national grid. I started taking 3k, 5k, and even 10k walks most nights. With my new slimmed-down 14 stone frame, I became ‘Dad 2.0’ and ‘Grandad 2.0.'”
To share his experience, Singh set up www.bariatricman.com a not-for-profit website. “In the last eight years, I’ve had the privilege of assisting over 200 people dealing with their own obesity issues.”
Throughout his journey, Del has participated in various charity challenges including climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and running numerous marathons. “I firmly believe in paying it forward,” he explains. “Every challenge I undertake is tied to charity fundraising.”
In 2023, Del was moved by the destruction caused by earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. To contribute to the relief effort, he decided to run 10 x 10k races across the UK. “So far, I’ve run in London, Brighton, Bath, and the Great Manchester Run. Next up is the Great North 10k in Newcastle, a personal favourite of mine,” he shares. Donate to Del’s 10 x 10k challenge at his JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/del-singh10x10k
Del remains resolute in his mission to inspire others. “My story is a testament to the fact that we can make significant changes at any age. This is particularly important in the British Asian community, where the importance of running and physical health is often overlooked,” he says.
Del will line up alongside thousands of participants assembling on the iconic Great North Run Central Motorway start line as they take on a new and improved 10K course. Runners will cross the Tyne Bridge, loop back into the city centre, pass by well-known landmarks such as Grey’s Monument and the Civic Centre, and finally cross the finish line on the Town Moor.
There is still time to join Del and hundreds of others at the AJ Bell Great North 10K on Sunday, July 2nd. For more information or to register, click here.