For Those Who Say, ‘No Way.’

August 11, 2014 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

With much of the Commonwealth Games coverage in Australia being focussed purely on Australian athletes and teams one amazing story – no doubt there were many more – slipped past us, and that was the story of England marathon runner Steve Way.

Steve Way is 40 years old he finished 10th in the Marathon. What is so impressive about that many will no doubt be saying; while we say anyone who completes a marathon is pretty remarkable.

The reason Steve Way’s story is so remarkable is that he came to the sport late and almost by accident. He told the BBC “I didn’t really take any interest in sport at school, I was pretty good at maths and physics, a bit of a geek. But I also enjoyed myself quite a lot in my twenties. There was quite a lot of drinking, quite a lot of smoking and quite a lot of late-night kebabs after nights out with the boys in Bournemouth. The big change came when I was 33, in September 2007. I was at my heaviest, about 16-and-a-half stone, and I was smoking about 20 cigarettes a day. I’d have sleepless nights because of the coughing. It wasn’t pleasant.”

It was then that Way from Dorset decided to make a change. As he also told the BBC “I wasn’t clinically depressed but I was just moseying from one day to the next. I had no goals in life. There was nothing going on to get me excited. I needed to find something I could focus all my attention on that was going to help me lose weight and keep me off the cigarettes. In order to bury your vices you need to find an equal and opposite addiction. You need to find a passion.”

Apparently he had first run a marathon the year before in 2006. He entered the London Marathon, trained for three weeks and finished it in a very impressive just over three hours. However he went back to the beer fags and kebabs.

After deciding to do something about his health and this time seven months of training he again took part in the London Marathon and this time he finished with a time of 2:35.26 and finished 100th.

He managed to keep running and ran 130miles a week while still holding down a 9-5 job. No sponsorship for this guy, or full time training he was an old-fashioned athlete.

He qualified for the Commonwealth Games by being the third Englishman to finish in this year’s London Marathon. He was beaten by two-time Olympic and three-time world champion Mo Farah – who ended up pulling out of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to illness, – and Chris Thompson.

Way finished the London Marathon 15th in a time of 2:16.27, ahead of British Olympian Scott Overall. Once again the incredible thing about this performance was he hadn’t actually trained for the race. He had planned to take it easy and simply run with some club-mates.

“The prospect of representing my country in Glasgow was not on my radar,” Way told the BBC. “I was using London as a training run for the UK 100km Championships in May. But about a week and a half before London I realised I’d got myself into what I thought was marathon personal-best shape. I’m not sure how I’d done it, but I decided to race instead.” He incidentally won that 100km race by 46 minutes.

He may not have beaten the Kenyans or finished amongst the medals but to have even made it to the start line was an incredible achievement and shows anything is possible.

Of course we have featured our very own Steve Way on the show, Gary Wilmot AKA No More Mr Fat Guy. Gary had risen to a weight of 142kgs before he had his awakening and he has now completed three marathons. Gary is now planning to run from Perth (Western Australia) to Brisbane (Queensland), taking in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and the Gold Coast along the way  a distance of approximately 5500km in total. He is also hoping to raise $1million for the Heart Foundation. To find out more check out his website. http://www.nmmfg.com

 

 

 

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