“When you’re diabetic, you’re sometimes told you can’t do this or you can’t do that, but I wanted to prove that you can do absolutely anything”: these are the words of Mark Morrelle, a local resident of Mold who very kindly met with us to share his experience of completing the New York Marathon in November 2019.
Mark Morrelle (pictured below) is a regular user of Mold Fitness Suite, or, in his own words, “I practically live in the gym!”. Discussing his fitness journey to date, Mark explained: “I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 9 years old. When I started coming to the gym here at Mold Leisure Centre, I was overweight and my diabetes was all over the place. Then, on a Saturday afternoon about 3 years ago, I went along to a Circuits class, not to take part but just to watch. I then went again the following week to take part. I kept going and kept getting fitter and fitter every week. As a result, I have lost 3 and a half stone in less than 3 years.”
Mark explained how he had completed the London Marathon in 2018, before taking on the New York Marathon in 2019. He explained: “after completing the London Marathon in 2018, I said to myself: never again! The training had really taken its toll on me. But then in 2019, I decided, why not, I’ll do the New York marathon!”
Beaming, Mark expressed to us what it felt like to cross the finish line: “it was like euphoria! I absolutely went for it when I got to the last mile, taking half an hour off my time. I was absolutely amazed! I’m not time based – just doing it is enough for me – but taking off half an hour was a huge bonus. The pride of what I had achieved was immense.”
Looking forward, we asked Mark about his fitness goals for 2020: “I’m looking forward to taking part in the London Marathon again this year. I’d like to squeeze in a triathlon and as many half marathons as I can do.”
The pride on Mark’s face shone through when talking about his fitness achievements: “since I started coming to the gym, I have become so much fitter. My health is brilliant, everything is better, I’m well made up! The instructors are absolutely amazing as well – Spence, Abbie, Simon, all of them! – they let you go at your own speed and if they see you struggling they help you out.”
Keen to inspire others, he said: “there is absolutely no reason why people who have diabetes cannot achieve huge fitness goals like running a marathon. In a sense, the reason I’m doing it is to prove that it can be done. If I can inspire someone else – even just one person – to take up a challenge like that, I would be made up.”
The whole Aura team would like to thank Mark for taking the time to share his experience with us and wish him the best of luck with his 2020 fitness goals.