JUST five years ago, Stuart Wadlow suffered a heart attack at the age of 32 and required surgery to open an artery that was blocked.
But not letting that stop him, on Sunday, March 2, he will run the Argus-backed Newport Half Marathon in aid of St David’s Hospice in a bid to break one of his own records.
The 37-year-old, living in Cardiff, set a half marathon record for cardiac athletes when he ran the Llanelli Half Marathon in 1 hour 17minutes 39 seconds last year.
But the East Anglian-born runner has set his sights on going even faster as he takes to the streets of Newport.
“I didn’t run much before my heart attack and the lifestyle I led wasn’t the best,” he said. “After my heart attack I thought I’m going to get my life sorted and I have. I was helped by Caerphilly County’s exercise referral scheme which started me off before I continued running of my own accord.
“I first ran a half marathon in Cardiff in 2009 and I got a huge buzz. I hold the record for the fastest registered half marathon of a cardiac athlete but training is going well and I’m aiming to beat that.”
Mr Wadlow is running the Admiral-sponsored race of 13.1 miles in preparation for the London Marathon in April, where he will attempt to break another PB – 2.56.51 for a full marathon.
“This half marathon in Newport is the perfect preparation,” he added. “I want to shed some time off both this one and the London Marathon so hopefully it’ll be a good couple of months.
“The heart attack has changed my life and not just on a health basis. I’ve now set up my own fitness business and help disabled people exercise.”