MEET OUR TEAM WORLDWIDE RUNNERS – IT’S STEVEN CARMICHAEL!
Running a marathon is usually about what you gain from the day.
A lifelong achievement.
A sense of satisfaction.
The feeling of overcoming insurmountable odds.
Yet, as Steven Carmichael proves, running a marathon can sometimes also be about what you can lose. In his case, nearly half his body weight.
"I decided in about April of last year to take the life-changing decision not to die in my early-50s!" he explains, with a wry smile.
"I was 20 stone and six pounds and I thought that if I didn't shift some weight it was going to be a increasing problem."
The 44-year-old, who has his own investment company in London but hails from Helensburgh, near Glasgow, opted to lace up his trainers and take a jog.
"I literally hadn't run a yard ever, even when I played football I barely ran then!" he said.
"I even had to lose some weight before I could start running and I couldn't run 200 yards at first. But then it became 300 yards and I was away.
“I then noticed in autumn last year that Worldwide Cancer Research were advertising Virgin London Marathon spots on Twitter.
"For a long time, a marathon had been no more possible than building a space rocket in my own back garden and flying to the moon. But I got in touch and thought, 'I could do that'.
"I started running a lot and by Christmas time I was probably running over 100 miles a week."
Steven's incredible transformation now sees him hitting the roads most evenings as the big day approaches and since committing himself to Worldwide Cancer Research's cause, his life has changed for the better.
"This is just who I am now," he said. "The difference it has made to my life is wonderful. Most important - like most people in the west of Scotland - I have lost a lot people to cancer.
"It is very prevalent here. I've lost two uncles and an aunt and all my grandparents and a lot of friends. Last summer I even sat with somebody as they passed with cancer and that spurred me on too. I thought 'it's fine giving a fiver here or there but why not try and do something else'.
Steven is almost unrecognisable to the man he was just 12 months ago and he could not be a more passionate believer in getting involved and helping out not only himself but Worldwide Cancer Research as well.
"Worldwide Cancer Research are incredibly dedicated and intelligent and they are desperate to make more breakthroughs,” he added.
“What better charity to help? Training for the marathon has helped changed my life for the better and I hope that raising some money for this cause can help them in work.
"I’m started to get really excited about it now and I don't care how long it takes; I know I'll get round and finish. I don't even mind finishing behind the pantomime horse but I better beat the guy in the deep sea diver's suit!
If you’ve been inspired by Steven’s story and would love to be part of Team Worldwide, check out our list of fantastic events suitable for everyone! And if you would like to donate in support of the incredible work Worldwide Cancer Research funds, please click here.