Name: Glenn McMullin
Occupation: Airline pilot
Hometown: St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Start Weight: 340 pounds
End Weight: 170 pounds
Time Running: 3 years
I had just turned 50-years-old. I was 5-10, 340 pounds with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and then I was diagnosed with oesophagal cancer. While doctors tried to save my life, I had to finally try to get healthy.
I had failed at weight loss before many times. This time I decided to try and become a runner. I started with a short walk/run program with a goal of the 5K Terry Fox run for Cancer.
I remember my first day on the treadmill. I did 1 mile in 30 minutes and was spent. I was also on a lot of medication and on a CPAP. I went through chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which tapped my energy, but I kept doing what I could with the walking and occasional jogging helped with my energy.
By the time surgery came up in June, I was 280 pounds. I no longer needed the CPAP machine. After they removed my oesophagus, recovery was slow I had to learn to eat and hydrate again.
I stabilized at 236 pounds after that but was very weak and had no wind. I started a 5K program and worked hard at it. Fourteen weeks later, I ran a 5K at 209 pounds. I set a new goal for the 90th running of the Tele10, a 10-mile road race in my hometown.
I trained for 10 months and finished it at 168 pounds. Since I used a half marathon program to train for it I entered the Huffin Puffin Half in St. John’s a few weeks later and finished it.
TRAIN WITH RW: Plans for every distance (and every runner!)
My weight has stabilized around 170 pounds and fluctuates a little with my mileage, but I pay no attention to it now. I just focus on getting a little better at running and everything else is looked after.
My final race for this year will be my first marathon when I toe the line at the L’ Petit train du Nord, a new race in its second year in Quebec. It runs on October 22.
I am still amazed I can actually run. For so long it was impossible for me, and now I can run for hours and enjoy every step of the journey. I have no health problems and now take no medication. I feel 30 years younger. I really believe running not only saved my life, it made it far more enjoyable in every way.
This article first appeared in Runner’s World magazine.