A young father from Barry ran 10 half marathons in 10 months to inspire others to get off the sofa and be more active, and to raise money for Tesco's National Charity Partnership with Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation.
Mike Jenkins, 29, made the decision to change his lifestyle after becoming a lot less active since becoming dad to Isabella, 4, and Luca, 1. He had gained weight and was lacking confidence, which was taking a toll on his mental health.
Having enjoyed running as a teenager, Mike – who works at the Tesco Bridgend Superstore - laced up his trainers and began taking part in five kilometre runs in his local area. He also joined a local running club to motivate his training.
A bigger challenge
Mike’s manager at Tesco suggested he enter the Cardiff Half Marathon to support the National Charity Partnership. Mike enjoyed the training so much that with the support of his running club he completed 13.1 miles in training - and decided to take on a bigger challenge: running 10 half marathons in 10 months with the Cardiff Half Marathon as the finale.
By the time Mike lined up on the Cardiff Half starting line, he had completed 14 half marathons and a full marathon, exceeding the challenge he had set himself.
Making a difference
Mike said, “My partner’s grandmother had Type 2 diabetes and my family has a history of heart disease. I was looking for a way to push myself after taking up running again and running for such great causes made it a no-brainer! I also knew what a positive impact it would have on my own mental health.
“At the beginning of the year I couldn’t be bothered to get off the sofa in the evenings. Now I have run over 1000 kilometres and plan to enter an ultramarathon next year. I hope I can inspire others to start their own journey to being healthier. By supporting Diabetes UK and the BHF, I’m not just making a difference to my own health, but other people’s health too.”
The Tesco National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco aims to tackle two of the UK’s biggest health issues – Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. For more information, go to www.lets-dothis.org.uk.