Can Fat Men Do…An Iron Man?

On Jan 9th 2011, I weighed myself and noted with horror the reading on the scale. 



On Jan 10th 2011, I told the world that I would run a marathon. Well, I told my office and a few people politely smiled and a few people laughed. How many times had I promised to myself and to others that I would lose weight? How many times had I failed, only to regain and add more weight?

However, this time it WOULD be different.

Feb 27th 2012, I weighed myself and noted with delight the reading on the scale.



At my fittest

I hadn’t yet managed a marathon but I was running 10ks in 51 minutes, walking 7 miles to work and I was healthier and happier than I had ever been. I spent the next few years adding more and more medals, adding more and more miles and adding various health promotion and blogging roles to my C.V. I graced the covers of running magazines, featured in newspapers and joined MAN v FAT as an Amazing Loser. I raised thousands for charity and Howmanymiles was born.

On May 2014, I completed the Copenhagen Marathon and Hans Christian Anderson couldn’t have penned the fairy tale that was my life. It marked the culmination of three years of training, dedication and many sacrifices.



However, like all fairy tales, it contained an element of darkness. It marked the start of my descent. With no goal in sight, I lost motivation and I regained old habits. Although I dedicated my time to launching campaigns and events that helped thousands of people to become more active, I dedicated little time to my own health and wellbeing and over the last two years. I have suffered bouts of depression as my weight has slowly but steadily increased. I tried to mask my hurt and shame, but I began to withdraw. I ended partnerships and friendships. I began to lose hope and began turning down amazing opportunities. I feared that it was the end of the road for Howmanymiles.

Once again I was a failure and a fraud. Once again, I hated myself

2nd September 2016, I weighed up my options as well as my weight and I had a revelation.

Fairy tales are all about emerging from the darkness, facing your fears and overcoming mighty obstacles. They are about heroes and heroines.

Today, on the 8th September 2016, I make a new promise. In 2018, I am going to compete in an Ironman 70.3  

I am going to be an Ironman

Some might laugh, but I hope that all of you will join me as I update you with my progress, both in my training and in my fundraising, here at MAN v FAT and also at my blog at, as ever you can also find me over on the forum where you can ask me anything about what I’m up to. 

It has been a dream of mine to be a Triathlete as well as a Try-Athlete and with your support and your encouragement; I know that I will not fail to achieve my goal of being an Ironman

I also have another goal.

Obesity and inactivity contribute to so many non-communicable diseases and to so many lost lives. One of those diseases is cancer and I am not sure its links with obesity are as well known, as they should be. I intend on using my new goal to raise awareness and funds for Cancer Research and I also intend on continuing to encourage as many people as possible to move more.

I would love to lead a team of MAN v FAT Triathletes and Ironmen. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing an informal swim, bike, run with friends or a full-blown Iron Man – will you join me?

About the Author /

From the forum

  1. Chapeau!!! Great post and a great target.

  2. Very courageous and honest. Well written and well done. It’s a reminder to all of us, that you have to work and put the effort into the changes ALL OF THE TIME.

    I’m working up to a mini triathlon hopefully in 2017, so I guess, I’m in!

  3. Truly inspiring post! Well done @howmanymiles, no doubt you’ll smash it!

    I’ve committed myself to participate in the Spartan Sprint next year. I’ve told just about every person I know and I’m training for it. It’s not quite the Iron Man but will be a huge challenge for me.

    I’m in!

  4. Avatar for admin admin says:

    Your first victim!

  5. Avatar for mick mick says:

    You’re right again.
    Typing is easy, doing it is what counts.
    20lb badge it is then.

  6. Well said @howmanymiles and @superpug you will be the winner, and thin, big, ugly or otherwise your cousin will continue to be a loser. Set your goals and go out and achieve them.

  7. Big Announcement.

    Sorry guys, but I have been thinking about my goals and my dreams and I have been deliberating over this decision. My girlfriend thinks that I am crazy to be thinking about an Ironman 70.3 and after an almost sleepless night, I tend to agree with her.

    The Ironman 70.3 just isn’t for me. It simply felt like a semi-realistic goal for someone that has already ran a marathon and who probably shouldn’t do ultamarathons.

    So, I am not doing the Ironman 70.3

    Instead, I am going to compete in a full IRONMAN. All 2.4miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running (possibly some walking)

    This is and always has been my dream and is a challenge that truly excites and frightens me.

    I will be an IRONMAN!!

  8. Now, we are talking. Chatting to Team GB age group triathletes on Tuesday. Nothing is going to stop me. I haven’t been right this week as my heart wasn’t completely in the 70.3.

  9. To lose enough weight so I am able to jump out of a plane. With a parachute I will add :slight_smile:

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