Phil is driven by his love of run­ning

Gloucestershire Echo - - CITIZEN - By MELISSA JONES

AFORMER driver in­struc­tor has swapped his junk food addiction for a run­ning habit. Phil Jef­feries used to spend all day in his car, grabbing a Mc­don­ald’s or fish and chips on the way home.

When his weight crept to 16 stone in 2013, the 53-year-old de­cided he must do some­thing about it.

Bat­tling a num­ber of long stand­ing ill­nesses, in­clud­ing asthma, pan­cre­ati­tis and kid­ney disease, didn’t help

ei­ther, so he took up ex­er­cise in a bid to get health­ier and fit­ter.

In May of that year, he went to his lo­cal Parkrun in Swin­don and hasn’t looked back.

“Go­ing around the course I felt like I was dy­ing,” he said.

“That was the push I needed to start do­ing some even­ing runs and watch­ing what I ate.

In 12 months, he had slimmed by three stone and even­tu­ally started run­ning fur­ther.

After sev­eral 10k events, he thor­oughly en­joyed the 2014 Royal Parks Half Marathon in Lon­don. Then he heard lo­cal clubs needed pac­ers.

Last week­end he will run the Lon­don Marathon in five hours, en­cour­ag­ing par­tic­i­pants long the way.

It comes five months be­fore he paces the first ever Chel­tenham Clas­sic Run at Prest­bury Park, on Septem­ber 1.

Now work­ing full-time as an ad­min­is­tra­tor at Shriven­ham and do­ing the driv­ing lessons on the side, Phil is look­ing for­ward to his trip to Chel­tenham.

The Clas­sic Run is part of a se­ries with three other events at Jockey Club Race­courses; Ain­tree (Septem­ber 8), Ayr (Oc­to­ber 6) and New­mar­ket (Oc­to­ber 20).

Phil added: “First timers should not put too much pres­sure on them­selves, it’s the fin­ish line not the time that’s im­por­tant.

Find out more about the Clas­sic Run Se­ries at the­clas­si­crun­series.co.uk.

Phil Jef­feries com­plet­ing a re­cent Parkrun

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