A fund-raiser from Northamptonshire who has lost 11 stone in the last two years has revealed his delight at completing the Great North Run.
Paul Barker, 36, from Flore, completed the run in aid of Make-A-Wish UK, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
His finishing time was one hour, 58 minutes and four seconds.
Paul Barker, aged 36, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be able to say that I managed to complete the Great North Run. I’d trained pretty hard in the months leading up to it so when I managed to come home inside my target of two hours I was absolutely gobsmacked.
“The weather for the run was just so hot, and a lot of the seasoned veterans were saying in the build up to the race that it wasn’t the weather to be setting personal bests or pushing for times in, but I knew I’d trained hard and I had faith in my plan for the race, so I just stuck to my plan, kept to my own pace and it all came good on the day.
“I also hit myself another more quirky target as we were waiting to get going, and that was to complete the race within an hour of the time set by Mo Farah. I actually had no idea what that would be, but I checked the times after the race and I found out I managed to do it by just under a minute.
“So, the targets I set myself for the race itself have both been hit, but that leaves me just one target that I haven’t hit yet is my fundraising target of £500. I’m currently just over £100 away from hitting that target too, but this one is out of my hands.
“Everyone has been so great with all their support for me in preparing for this, but I need just one last push from you all to help get me over the finish line on this one too.
“I’ve gone from 24 stone to a sub two hour half marathon, come on guys please don’t let this be the first target I can’t hit!”
To support Paul, please visit his JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/paulbarkergnr15