Courier, 25, hopes to deliver with his marathon mission

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A 25-year-old former smoker and fast-food junkie says training for his first marathon has changed his life.

Chris Ward, from Sible Hedingham, has lost five stone – dropping from 20st 8lbs to 15st – since he started training for the London Marathon in September.

The courier has swapped 20 cigarettes a day and regular trips to takeaways for pounding the pavements in preparation for the 26.2-mile run on April 23.

“It really has changed my life,” said Chris, from Friars Close.

“I used to smoke and pop into McDonald’s for lunch quite a lot so when I first started I could barely run half-a-mile. But I knew I needed to do something.”

Despite never completing a marathon before, Chris said his training was progressing well.

He runs around 35 miles each week and also goes cycling and swimming. So far, his longest run has been 17 miles.

“Running for such long distances can be tedious, but I think the crowd will get me through on the day,” said Chris. “Hopefully I will be able to finish in under five hours.”

As an extra incentive, Chris is raising money for Children With Cancer UK and has set himself a target of £2,500.

“I had a friend who lost her 14-year-old daughter to cancer and I have seen what it does to families,” he said.

“It really puts the strain on them, and if I can help just one family avoid that or help them to get through it, then it will all be worth it.”

To sponsor Chris, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/wardy1.