Sophie Simpson is determined to complete the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon on Sunday 20th October – an achievement just a few years ago she would have thought impossible.
Until aged in her late 20s, the 31-year-old primary school teacher says she lived “a life of obesity,” overweight, unfit and unable to cross her legs far less run.
Then over three years she lost 9 stone, started to run and now with four half marathons under her belt is looking forward to tackling the big one.
Sophie said: “At school I was overweight and when doing cross country the teachers always told me to just walk back to school and I’d still be the last one there. As I got older I got even more obese and my health and fitness had deteriorated greatly.
“I had a friend that passed away with breast cancer but all through treatment she was out seizing the day, running tough mudders and setting all sorts of challenges and there was I sitting in the sofa watching television and eating all the time. I was in complete denial.
“I tried running but I found it difficult being so overweight, so I spent three years losing 9 stone and during that time was able to build up my fitness so much so that I started couch to 5k 2 years ago and could actually run. Running had greatly improved my mental health and has taken me from not being able to cross my legs to fit and healthy.”
Ten months after starting the couch to 5K programme, Sophie ran the Oxford Half Marathon in 2017 and last year managed to complete four half marathons.
Sophie said: “I’m raising money for The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. I’ve nearly raised £1000. But really I’m doing it for the sense of achievement. Going from getting out of breath walking to running a full marathon, albeit very slowly.”