A dad who once tipped the scales at 22 stone will run Sunday’s London Marathon after losing more than half his body weight in just 18 months.
Asthmatic Dominic Camponi, 38, once struggled to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, but will complete the iconic 26.2 mile run in the capital after his staggering transformation.
The teaching assistant, who once wore 4XL clothes and now fits into a slimline medium, feared he would not see his son Henry, six, grow up as his weight was making his lung condition worse.
And after watching an interview with former rugby player Rob Burrow on his brave battle with Motor Neurone Disease, he was jolted into action.
Dominic joined Weight Watchers and followed their healthy diet and started to run a mile a day.
And after 18 months, he was running around 40 miles a week and was down to 11 stone after shedding half his body weight.
Dominic said: “It was really hard because of how heavy I was and I couldn’t ever go out without my inhaler as I had to take it before I set off and occasionally whilst I was out too.”
Dominic, from Liversedge, West Yorkshire, said before his weight loss, he would take his reliever inhaler throughout the day and would be out of breath just walking up stairs.
But it was the fear of not being around for his son Henry that inspired his lifestyle change.
He added: “I began worrying that I might not be around to watch Henry grow up.
“Asthma can be fatal and being overweight can make it much worse, you’re more likely to have symptoms and asthma attacks.”
He gradually increased his running distance and ran every day for 502 days.
On May 14, 2021, he completed a virtual marathon of 26.2 miles to celebrate 500 days of his daily runs.
He completed it in 3 hours 46 minutes, an average of eight minutes and 38 seconds per mile.
Dominic added: “I felt incredibly proud.
“To put that into perspective, my first Park Run in January 2020 was just over three miles and took me 48 minutes and 37 seconds which is over 16 minutes per mile.
“My asthma improved immensely.
“I finally managed to get it under control for the first time in years.
“I went from having to use my inhaler multiple times a day to only once or twice per week.”
Dominic will be raising money for Asthma and Lung UK, a charity which promotes research, treatment and support for people with the condition.
He said: “I have wanted to run London Marathon for many years as I have always found watching it on television so inspiring especially seeing all the different charity vests and all the people that come out to cheer on total strangers.
“I chose to run for Asthma and Lung UK to help raise vital funds so that they can do research into better treatments so that everyone with lung conditions can live better and healthier lives.
“As a child I struggled to do much exercise because of my asthma but with the right medication now it doesn’t stop me from taking part in sport and exercise.”
Visit TCS London Marathon 2023 – British Lung Foundation to follow in Dominic’s footsteps and sign up for the London Marathon next year.