A couple who met during a fitness drive which led to them losing five stone each hope their story will inspire others to sign up for a summer running event.
“Superslimmers” Owain and Mandy Williams are getting involved in Jogscotland’s One Big Weekend across four Scottish cities on August 2 and 3.
Mr Williams, 32, weighed 19 stone before making a New Year’s resolution to get fit in 2008. Now 13 stone, the 6ft 1in website developer is determined to complete four five kilometre runs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen to stay in shape.
Running transformed his life in more ways than one – as he met the woman who became his wife during a run in the Meadows in 2009.
“We got chatting and both had an interest in running and getting fit,” said Mr Williams.
“We both understood what it takes to go from being heavy to how we are now. We both know that if you believe you can lose weight then there’s nothing that can stop you.”
The couple live at Easter Road and married last summer. Mrs Williams was 15st 6lb, but has dropped to 10st 6lb and is now a keen member of the Jogscotland group in Leith.
Since Mr Williams started his health kick, he has completed seven marathons and reached a best time of two hours and 58 minutes. His wife will run the Edinburgh leg of One Big Weekend, before driving Mr Williams to the other races in the series.
“Running has completely changed my life and there’s no chance I’d have met my wife without it,” said Mr Williams. “I was grumpy and miserable as sin when I was overweight. I had bad asthma.
“Now I’m fit the asthma has almost gone. I want to show that anything is possible. I think Jogscotland is brilliant. They’re all about inspiring people to enjoy being fit.”
Entries are now open for the Jogscotland One Big Weekend races, which are designed to give runners from more than 500 running clubs across the country a chance to meet up, as well as welcoming all other runners, joggers and walkers.