A Burton father-of-three is entering his first organised running event this weekend to mark a milestone in his weight loss and fitness journey.

Mark Judson (35) has shed nearly three stone since January 2021 – combining healthy eating with running – and is hoping to raise more than £400 for a local charity by entering the Derby 10k this Sunday.

He has opted to support specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound in recognition of the work that the charity does to support and protect young people and their families across Derbyshire and particularly to thank CEO Tracy Harrison who is a close family friend and helped to bring him up after his parents died when he was very young.

Mark explained: “I decided I really needed to do something about my weight when I tipped the scales at 17½ stone and am really pleased with my progress so far as I am now down to just under 14½ stone.

“I initially took up running because I am pretty lazy and running gets you to the finish line a lot quicker than walking!

“Although I have managed to complete 10k on several occasions during my training, this will be my first organised event and I am really looking forward to it.

“I hope to raise a decent amount of money which will go to a great cause and will be a personal thank you to Tracy.

“My dad died when I was three and then mum passed away four years later. My siblings and I lived with my aunt during the week and then spent weekends with Tracy.

“She has done so much for us, I wanted to show my own appreciation for the work that she and the whole team at Safe and Sound do in our local communities does by raising money in this way.”

Tracy Harrison continued: “I am really proud of how Mark has improved his health and fitness over the past year and really touched that he wanted to support Safe and Sound by tackling the Derby 10k.

“It is always a highlight in the Derby calendar and is run by another favourite charity of mine – Derby County Community Trust – so is something very close to my heart.”

For details on how to support Mark, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-judson2 

For more information about Safe and Sound and how to support the charity, visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk