A singing lawyer has the Manchester Half-Marathon in his sights after shedding seven and a half stone in just eight months on a strict fitness regime.
Llyr Williams, of leading North Wales law firm Swayne Johnson, will tackle the 13.1-mile course in October to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society after becoming two-thirds of the man he used to be.
The 39-year-old, who sings with a chamber choir in Manchester, had the build of a Pavarotti when he tipped the scales at 22-and-a-half stone on June 1 last year but by March a combination of a healthy diet and a rigorous exercise regime had seen him get down to a trim 15 stone.
In the process Llyr, originally from Denbigh, threw out a total of 10 suits including two dinner suits, 30 T-shirts, 15 shirts and ten pairs of trousers – and had to buy himself a whole new wardrobe.
He kept a T-shirt as a reminder and said: “One of the things I took up was running and I went from the ‘Couch to 5k’ to actually running a half-marathon distance – I hadn’t run at all in my life.
“I’ve lost the weight by eating properly and with exercise. I watched a TV documentary about crash dieting and the information it gave about how quickly the body regenerates itself, and realised I had to do something about my weight.
“It inspired me and made my brain click into gear because I was concerned about the long-terms effect on my health, including the risk of diabetes.
“On the Couch to 5K, the first run you do is 90 seconds of walking followed by 60 seconds of running, repeated eight times per session – those first 60 second runs seemed an eternity.
“But I began to do longer and longer runs and on Sunday, October 13, I’m going to tackle the Manchester Half-Marathon which goes through Sale where I now live.
“Seeing yourself everyday, you don’t realise how much you have lost. One of my colleagues is seven-and-a-half stone so I’ve lost an entire person.”
Llyr, who lives with his partner, Elizabeth, is running for The Alzheimer’s Society and he said: “Swayne Johnson have a real expertise in helping families cope when a loved one has Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia.
“We know how important it is to have Powers of Attorney in place, and we have two of only three Panel Deputies in Wales who are appointed by the Court of Protection where a person may not have anyone to rely on and can no longer deal with their own affairs.
“On top of this, as someone whose mind and memory is so central to their work it scares the bejasus out of me that something could take that ability away. It’s vital that we find a way to alleviate and prevent this horrible disease, and any small thing that I can do to help in the fight is worth a few blisters.”
Llyr also sang with the St Asaph Cathedral Choir for 30 years and is Secretary of the North Wales International Music Festival which is held at the cathedral every September, so his choice of music while running is slightly surprising.
“I like the Manic Street Preachers,” he said: “That seems to work for me. It’s got a good beat to it but of course I only listen through one ear.
“My iPhone is probably one of the only ones that has Eminem next to the Mary Poppins soundtrack next to 16th Century classical music, but for running the Manics do the business.”
Llyr now also has his sights set on next spring’s Manchester Marathon and he intends to keep on running: “I really enjoy it because I’m concentrating so hard to not make a fool of myself in public and putting one foot in front of the other that I don’t think about work at all.”
Anyone who wants to donate to Llyr’s good cause, The Alzheimer’s Society, can go to his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/llyrwilliams
For more on Swayne Johnson go to http://www.swaynejohnson.com/