A FORMER 17-stone pastry-lover turned personal trainer is gearing up for his biggest challenge of four marathons – more than 100 miles – in two days.

Darren Davies, 44, is to run 26.2 miles from Folly Bridge to Long Eaton and back again on Saturday, September 13.

The next day he will do the same distance going south from Folly Bridge, to the otherside of Wallingford.

When he gave up his hobby of football aged 30 he piled on the pounds, going from 10 stone to 17 stone while working as a community football coach for Oxford City FC from 2006 - 2008.

But after giving himself five months to prepare for the April 2007 London Marathon, the Headington dad-of-one has not looked back.

He worked for Portsmouth Football Club in 2009, and after being made redundant he set up as a personal trainer based at Oxford City FC that same year.

With five London Marathons under his belt – best time 4.10 – he is looking to inspire others and has five friends signed up to run part of the course with him.

Mr Davies, married to Debbie, 44, and dad to Rhys, 19, said: “I didn’t want to be the fat dad in the playground and I just wanted to change my life. This is what I wanted and I never looked back.”

The Leiden Road resident said of the 12-hour-a-day mega marathon: “I have done marathons before but nothing of this endurance, so I am looking forward to it. I love it, it takes you to a different place, a different mental space.”

Joining him up to Long Eaton and south to near Wallingford will be: Russell Colwell, 25, and Laura Taylor, 31, of Abingdon; Sophie Sinnott, 25, and Michelle King, 49, of Kidlington; and Debbie Cullen, 43, of Wheatley.

The “Sofa to Super” team completed May’s Oxford Town and Gown 10k, a 12k Cornbury obstacle course, 20-mile bike ride and half marathon in training.

They have raised £795 of a £2,000 target for Kidlington children’s charity Rosy and the British Heart Foundation.

Mr Davies said: “If I can change my life when I was 17 stone there is no reason I couldn’t help others. They have come on leaps and bounds.”



  • WEIGHT: 17 stone.
  • TYPICAL DIET: chips, pastries and noodles


  • WEIGHT: 12.5 stones.
  • TYPICAL DIET: porridge, scrambled eggs, fresh chicken and fruit


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