A MAN from Barry has concluded a challenge he set himself to run 10 half-marathons in 10 months, ending last weekend with his completion of the Cardiff Half Marathon on behalf of charities Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Mike Jenkins, 29, made the decision to change his lifestyle after gaining weight following the birth of his two children Isabella, 4, and Luca, 1.

With the lack of physical activity beginning to take a toll on his mental health, Mr Jenkins – who had enjoyed running as a teenager – decided to lace up his trainers and began taking part in five kilometre runs in his local area. Soon after, his line manager at Tesco in Bridgend asked if he’d be interested in running the Cardiff Half Marathon for their National Charity Partnership.

And with a goal in mind, it was not long before Mr Jenkins set his sights on a bigger challenge.

"My partner’s grandmother had Type 2 diabetes and my family has a history of heart disease," he said.

"I was looking for a way to push myself after taking up running again and running for such great causes made it a no-brainer.

"Knowing I had eight months to train and that I would be raising money for such great causes really inspired me to get off to sofa and put the miles in. I also knew what a positive impact it would have on my own mental health.

Mr Jenkins joined a local running club – SMR in Barry – to help him towards his goal, and decided to expand his ambition to run 10 half-marathons in 10 months, with the Cardiff Half Marathon as the finale.

Having now exceeded the challenge he set himself, Sunday's event became Mr Jenkins' 15th half-marathon this year. He has also completed a full marathon in Gloucester.

The National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco aims to tackle two of the UK’s biggest health issues – Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.

"At the beginning of the year I couldn’t be bothered to get off the sofa in the evenings," said Mr Jenkins.

"Now I have run over 1000 kilometres and plan to enter an ultramarathon next year. I hope I can inspire others to start their own journey to being healthier.

"By supporting Diabetes UK and the BHF, I’m not just making a difference to my own health, but other people’s health too."