A grandfather from Peterborough will take on his biggest challenge so far when he runs the London Marathon.
Del Singh (56) has been inspiring residents since losing 10 stone when he had bariatric surgery five years ago when he weighed more than 25 stone.
Since then he has climbed Kilamanjaro, and taken on half marathons in the past.
But now Del is preparing for his London Marathon debut next month as part of a trio of runs in the capital to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
The father of five – and grandfather to five – completed the first of his triple challenges last month, taking part in CRUK’s Winter Run in London. Colleagues from the Oracle Corporation also ran on behalf of Cancer Research UK, together they raised over £10,000.
Del has now set himself an individual fundraising target of £2,500. His next challenge is the Vitality Big Half in March, followed by the London Marathon in April.
Del had tried every diet under the sun, without success and decided surgery was his best option. As he didn’t weigh enough to qualify for surgery on the NHS, Del and his wife, Jas, decided to use their savings – earmarked for a new kitchen – so he could undergo bariatric surgery. Six months later, he took up walking.
“I started a routine in the evening. I’d have a little bit to eat and then walk around the garden. Within three months, I was walking 10k most nights,” said Del.
He was soon clocking up more than 15,000 steps a day – and looking for excuses not to drive.
“I wondered if I could tie my better health into a challenge to help myself – and others,” said Del. “So in 2016, I decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. My only recent climb was off the sofa, so it was a huge decision.”
It was one that almost killed him. Four days into the climb – and just before summiting – he developed pneumonia and was forced to turn back.
Del turned his attention to running and last year signed up for the Loch Ness Marathon. Spurred on by his success in completing this race, he applied – and was successful – in his application for a place at 2019’s London Marathon.
Del said: “CRUK’s message about the link to obesity makes me realise that we need to get a grip on it. I wanted to do something to help, but one marathon wasn’t enough. That’s why I’m doing three runs in London.”
But he’s not stopping there. Del’s also doing The Great North Run 2019 and hopes to do The Great South Run 2019 as well. As a result of his new active lifestyle, he says he no longer takes any medication.
“My goal was to give myself a fighting chance to live beyond 66,” said Del. “I think I’ve achieved my goal. That’s why I’m proud to be doing this for Cancer Research UK, to help fund life-saving research. My message to others is don’t leave it too late to change. Don’t buy the kitchen – buy a new life.”
Danielle Glavin, spokesperson for Cancer Research UK in the East, said: “We’re delighted that Del has decided to attempt a triple challenge to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
“We can’t thank him enough for his support and wish him well. Without people like Del helping to fund our research, we wouldn’t have made such enormous progress in the fight against cancer. ”
To sponsor Del visit https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/del-runs-london-big-3-to-beat-big-c