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Four years ago Claire Bryant could hardly walk… now she’s preparing to run in next year’s London Marathon

Gloucester > Sport > Running

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Wednesday, 25th October 2017, 09:00

Claire Bryant competing in the Gloucester Half Marathon in August Claire Bryant competing in the Gloucester Half Marathon in August

Claire Bryant has a real spring in her step as she prepares for one of the biggest challenges of her life.

That’s because the 41-year-old is getting ready to run in next year’s London Marathon, something that would have been unthinkable when she was in her mid to late 30s.

Claire, who lives in Abbeydale in Gloucester, told The Local Answer: “Four years ago I was struggling just to walk to the local post box. I was overweight and stressed out after being made redundant.

“My heart rate was very worrying and the doctor told me I was very close to a heart attack and wanted to admit me to hospital.”

Fortunately for Claire, she had support and these were her darkest days.

She had ballooned to a size 18-20 which, by her own admission was much too big for someone who stands at just 5ft 2in.

These days she is around 11st, although she doesn’t know her exact weight.

“It’s irrelevant,” she declared. “It’s all about your overall health and being able to function on a day to day basis and feeling well.”

She can certainly do that alright. She now works for vulnerable teenagers and has taken part in her first ever half marathons as she prepares for the ‘big one’ in England’s capital city on Sunday 22nd April.

She ran a time of two hours, 36 minutes in the Gloucester Half in August and was pleased with her effort.

“I took it at a slow, steady pace,” she said, “but I ran all of it. Just to finish was a great feeling. I loved it, it was such a great buzz.”

Claire will be 42 when she joins the thousands of other runners taking part in the London Marathon but these days age is just a number to her.

“For me, it’s all about your health,” she said. “I’m a size 10-12 now but in my 30s I put on a lot of weight. I was really active in my 20s – I used to travel all over to places like Thailand and Costa Rica – before things started to get on top of me.

“I feel really lucky that I caught it in time. I did the weight loss really slowly via healthier eating and exercise and don’t have any baggy skin.”

While Claire considers herself to be one of the lucky ones, Hucclecote Community Association will be the lucky beneficiaries of her London run.

That is the cause she is raising money for and she added: “It’s really worth supporting. The association puts on events to get people who may be elderly or lonely out of their homes.

“There is a real variety of activities from zumba and coffee mornings to music events.”

The money raised is going to be spent specifically on a children’s trail gym to promote physical activity.

And while preparing for the race in London is a big priority for Claire over the next few months – she has been a member of Hucclecote Running Club for the past three years – she will also be taking time out to raise money for her chosen cause – see Hucclecote Community Association for forthcoming events.

“I will be putting on specific fundraising events,” said Claire. “Hopefully we can raise plenty of money because the association is run entirely by volunteers.”

She deserves all the support she can get.

Other Images

These pictures show how much weight Claire Bryant has lost over the last four years

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