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By Dan Santy Friday 07 December 2012 Updated: 03/01 08:50
FIVE years ago, Sarah Fry was an overweight smoker for whom a marathon would have been an impossible dream.
Now - five stones lighter - the 32-year-old from Brownsover is in the running to be trained by top coaches in preparation for next year's Paris marathon.
She is one of 22 hopefuls shortlisted by Runners World to be guided by running coaches, physiotherapists and nutritionists to be at their best for the race.
Sarah, a member of Rugby and Northampton running club for two years, completed her first marathon in October.
She runs 35 miles a week as part of her training - but it has not always been this way.
She said: "My idea of healthy living was adding salad to my doner kebab.
"I was eating a lot of fast food and takeaways and general junk food. I didn’t exercise at all as I found it made me out of breath – this combined with the smoking made any exertion quite difficult.
"This all changed after I saw a photograph of herself and realised I needed to make some positive changes in my life, so I went on a diet and took up running."
Sarah got into running in something of an unusual fashion, taking her young daughter along with her in a pushchair at first.
From then on she was hooked, and with the running and changing her diet by cutting out takeaways and processed food, she shed the pounds.
Through her running she has raised £450 for Rainbows children's hospice, and she hopes to complete the Paris marathon next April in three hours and 35 minutes.
Visit www.runnersworld.co.uk/competitions/target-262-2013-good-for-age/494.html to vote for Sarah to receive the Runners World coaching.
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