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9 September 2022   |   Uncategorized   |   

From A 20 stone stroke sufferer to a Boston marathon qualifier, meet our latest ambassador Craig Sharp!!

From weighing over 20 stone and suffering a stroke at 36, to running a Boston Marathon qualifying time and embarking on a mission to run all six Abbott World Major Marathons – meet our latest ambassador, Craig Sharp…


Why do you run?

I haven’t always run, I only started seven years ago. I was 36 years-old, and it’s now an incredibly important part of my life.

What inspired you to start running?

My health was a mess, and I had a couple of serious health scares. I had a stroke in 2014 and I had a heart attack in 2016. It was a wakeup call. The fact that I had a stroke in front of my two young daughters was scary and I thought, that at 36 years-old, there must be something seriously wrong with what I’m doing with my life. I was overweight, unfit and I need to change things!

How did your running journey start?

I was sat at home watching a marathon on TV. My entire life centred around my weight and I just couldn’t connect with what I was watching. Seeing strangers cheer on strangers was just weird. I didn’t realise anything like it existed. I had just had a stroke and it seemed like a sign that I needed to start running.

I was 36 years old, and I weighed over 20 stone. I told my doctor that I wanted to run the London Marathon. He told me that I’ll never do that in my life. To be honest, it was what I needed to hear – I just thought, I’ll show you I can!

I planned a two-mile route for my first run and it took me 40 minutes – you can actually walk faster than that! I was running and then having to stand still to catch my breath. It took ages!

The doctor had told me not to run because I was too fat and it would put too much strain on my heart… and he was right! I suffered a heart attack and second stroke but I was determined to see this through.

I began monitoring my weight more than anything. Straight away I cut out all junk food, beer, pizzas and chocolate biscuits, and I lost a stone in the first week.

After eight months, I had lost eight stone and in 2015 I ran the London Marathon. It nearly ruined me and I couldn’t walk properly after. But that’s when I thought to myself, I’m going to run all six World Marathon Majors.

Why is running so important to you?

Every now and then I ask myself why am I doing this? To be honest, that’s what I think on every single run! But I just can’t imagine not running now. One of my daughters and my partner run, so does my entire friendship circle. I just can’t imagine my life any other way.

How do you remain motivated to keep running?

My motivation is definitely health related. I’m only 47 and I’m the oldest man in my family – all of my older relatives died young, and none were healthy. I’m determined to put an end to that trend.

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