Three councillors who embarked on a weight loss challenge last year are preparing to tackle their first ever Carver Wolverhampton Marathon events next month.

Type=image;ImageID=7542;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Commonwealth gold medallist Hugh Porter MBE;TitleClass=strong;

Councillor Paul Sweet, who has shed more than 6 stone in the last 11 months, is set to take part in the half marathon at West Park on Sunday 6 September, 2015.

Meanwhile, Councillors Stephen Simkins and Daniel Warren will be joining the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Ian Brookfield in the 20km cycle marathon.

Councillor Sweet tipped the scales at 22st 7.5lbs when he embarked on his battle of the bulge following Wolverhampton Director of Public Health Ros Jervis' Call to Action to tackle the obesity epidemic facing the city.

Now, 11 months on, he is 6st, 5lbs lighter, having dramatically changed his diet and enjoying a regular exercise regime which includes walking, cycling, running and working out in the gym. He has also been supported by members of Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club who have provided a training programme and accompanied him on runs.

Councillor Sweet said: "When I began my weight loss challenge I was over 22 stone and the prospect of running a mile, let alone 13, would have been completely out of the question.

"My goal has always been to improve my health and fitness to such a level that I would be able to complete the half marathon.

"I think I've surprised even myself by what I've achieved over the last 11 months and I'm really looking forward to taking part in the half marathon - and raising money for good causes including the British Heart Foundation and the Mayor's chosen charities at the same time."

Councillors Simkins and Warren, who will also be raising money for the Mayor's chosen charities, say they are only able to contemplate taking part in the cycle marathon as a result of their improved fitness levels.

Councillor Simkins said: "Cycling has played a major part in my fitness regime and I'm increasingly using my bike instead of other forms of transport - not only is this healthier but it's often more convenient too.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of the cycle marathon which will give me a good indication of my current fitness levels, and also support some very good causes.

Councillor Warren, who completed his weight loss challenge when he reached his target weight of 14st 8lbs in January, added: "I'm delighted to be taking part in the cycle marathon and raising money for the Mayor's charities, especially the food banks which play a vital role in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Wolverhampton.

"It's also a great opportunity for me to keep fit and I'm enjoying my training regime and supporting my colleagues in their individual challenges."

For more details about the Carvers Wolverhampton Marathon, and to sign up for one of the events, which include a full 26 mile marathon, 13 mile half marathon, 10km run, 20km cycle ride and 3km walk, wheelchair event and a special mini marathon for the under 14s, please visit Type=links;Linkid=6517;Title=Carver Wolverhampton City Marathon Events 2015;Target=_blank;.

With an increasing number of adults and children in Wolverhampton being classed as overweight or obese, the council's Public Health team threw down the gauntlet to individuals and organisations to come together to tackle the problem.

It hosted a unique Obesity Summit in November, which saw around 300 health professionals, businesses and community groups meet to analyse the problem and make practical commitments to address the issue on either a local and city wide basis.

  • released: Tuesday 25 August, 2015