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Mega marathon runner Paul Commons from Ashford shed nine stone after giving up beer and takeaways

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Seven years ago Paul Commons was a 22-stone couch potato whose only exercise was walking to the bar of his local pub.

It was there he would down 15 pints and then tuck into a takeaway Chinese or kebab on the way home.

Paul Commons had let the pounds pile on
Paul Commons had let the pounds pile on

Yet last year he ran an extraordinary 126 marathons, including 12 on consecutive days.

His transformation into a super fit athlete is the result of a complete change of mindset and lifestyle that he feared would end up killing him.

"I just decided had to do something for the sake on my health," said the 55-year-old dad from Ashford who works in logistics for a lighting firm.

"I'd been pretty fit in my 20s and was a competitive in karate, gaining a 4th Dan black belt.

"But I started to drink too much, spending £600 a month on beer, had a lousy diet and smoked. "My weight ballooned, leaving me seriously out of shape.

He's now a lean, mean running machine
He's now a lean, mean running machine

"I knew I would end up in a bad place if I carried on like that."

That was the moment Paul vowed to give up the alcohol, cigarettes and takeaways and get exercising, initially with regular walks.

"I was too heavy to run at first. I started by walking a few miles," he said.

Now what he has gone on to achieve has made him something of a legend on the running scene.

Sponsored by Bay Running Shop and Triathlon in Herne Bay, which supplies his kit, he's on track to notch up a staggering 500 marathons in six years, running a personal best of three hours 26 minutes at last year's London Marathon.

Marathon runner Paul Commons
Marathon runner Paul Commons

He has now run every day in all weathers for more than 1,100 days and continues to do so.

"My Strava app reliably informs me that I clocked up a total of 4,580 miles with 169,298 feet of elevation in 2021," he said.

"But I do it because I love it. It's made me a different person and has undoubtedly prolonged my life."

But he's still not satisfied and is now training for a 100-miler, known as the centurion, and even a leg and lung-sapping 240-mile run over four days.

"It's not impossible for anyone - I was just a normal guy and have done it..."

Paul lives in Godinton Park with his partner Linda who he met through running and is also a very capable athlete.

Now he's on a mission to encourage others to get fit and start running.

"It's not impossible for anyone," he said. "I was just a normal guy and have done it."

But Paul advises those new to running who might be carrying too much extra weight to start by going on brisk walks, gradually building up the miles towards running.

He leads novice runner groups and more information can be found on his Facebook page, Paul's Running Adventures.

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