A Solihull electrician crowned the UK’s ‘Mr Sleek’ for his incredible weight loss achievements is hoping he can ‘spark’ people’s interest in getting active after signing up for his first Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run.
30-year-old Dann Sullivan started his remarkable lifestyle changes after a nurse told him he was medically obese and his size was putting his health at risk.
Dann has now lost 5st 2lbs, going from 16st 12lbs to 11st 10lbs, losing 8 inches from his waist.
And after taking part in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K in May, inspirational Dann is now in training for his first half marathon; the Great Birmingham Run, which takes place on Sunday, October 14.
The father-of-two will be among the thousands of runners motivated by the atmosphere of the 10K to take on their next challenge at the half marathon.
“Signing up to an event like the Great Birmingham Run half marathon is so important as it keeps me focused and driven to achieve my next target, allowing me to control my weight and fitness goals,” said Dann.
“The Great Birmingham 10K was such an amazing event, with all the local people coming out to support the runners and seeing the city I’ve lived in for 30 years in a whole new way. I immediately signed up to the half when I got home!”
Dann’s physical health is ‘the best it’s ever been’, he explains, and this is also helping his mental health.
“When running I get chance to clear my head, to re-focus and to remove stress from work and family life. Once I’ve completed any form of exercise, especially running, I get a feel-good factor that I’ve achieved what I set out to do and this stops me eating bad food as I don’t want to undo all my hard effort.”
Dann discovered a passion for running while following his Slimming World diet plans and he says the best thing about being more active is how it’s changed his relationship with his family. “Just watching my girls running around used to tire me out,” he said.
“I honestly believe activity of any kind is an amazing tool to complement a good healthy diet.
“I thought I was starting out on another failed New Year’s resolution. This year I’m proof that a decision you make in January can change your life – mine did!
“Hearing the nurse say I was obese was a real eye opener, the thought that I was damaging my health and risking not being there for my daughters was devastating.
“Now I feel like a new man. I have so much more energy to play with them and we love going on long family walks with our dog Maggie. I’m much fitter at work too – the only time I ache now is after a long run!”
Entries are now open for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run, the Midlands’ biggest half marathon, which starts and finishes in Birmingham city centre and this year reverts to its popular morning start time.
The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run takes in sights such as the Selfridges building, Edgbaston Stadium, Cannon Hill Park and Cadbury World along the way, and attracts thousands of participants each year.
The 13.1-mile run also features the popular Business Challenge, which invites office teams to compete for fastest-time trophies and helps CSR commitments, raising funds for company charities or foundations, or simply boosting office morale and team spirit in the workplace.
Anyone who entered the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k will receive a £10 discount on their entry fee for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half marathon.