Inspirational Tony is the man to beat at this year's Waterbeach Running Festival

Six years ago Tony Bacon took up running and on Saturday he will attempt a clean sweep with his fourth consecutive win in the 5km race at the Waterbeach Running Festival. Here here Tony last year (in the black). Picture: JO HATTON JONES.

Six years ago Tony Bacon took up running and on Saturday he will attempt a clean sweep with his fourth consecutive win in the 5km race at the Waterbeach Running Festival. Here here Tony last year (in the black). Picture: JO HATTON JONES.

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An inspirational man who ditched his unhealthy lifestyle to take up running will is aiming for his fourth consecutive win in the 5km race at the Waterbeach Running Festival.

Six years ago Tony Bacon took up running and on Saturday he will attempt a clean sweep with his fourth consecutive win in the 5km race at the Waterbeach Running Festival. Here in 2017 with Yvonne Scarrott (winner of the women’s 5km). Picture: JO HATTON JONES.Six years ago Tony Bacon took up running and on Saturday he will attempt a clean sweep with his fourth consecutive win in the 5km race at the Waterbeach Running Festival. Here in 2017 with Yvonne Scarrott (winner of the women’s 5km). Picture: JO HATTON JONES.

In six years Tony Bacon has gone from putting on his first pair of running shoes to being ranked in the top 30 in Britain for his age group in the 800, 1500 and 3000m.

Talking about his inspirational journey, Tony said: “I used to smoke and drink and was struggling with depression. I didn't do much exercise and got breathless going up the stairs.

“I didn't have any previous experience of running beyond the odd sprint during a game of football, which I mainly played for the social aspect rather than to keep fit.

“When I gave up smoking in 2013, I took up running to help get into shape. It started off as a chore that turned into a habit and has become a real passion that has transformed my life.”

Tony will be joining hundreds of other runners of all ages, shapes and sizes at the popular Waterbeach Running Festival this Saturday (May 11) where people can choose from a 2km Fun Run for children and adults, a 5km and 10km race as well as the popular 100m toddle for under fives.

While some, like Tony, will have their eyes set on one of the superb glass winner's trophies, most competitors will be content with achieving their own goals and being rewarded with a Douglass Digital finisher's medal as they cross the line.

Race committee member, Jessica Kitt, said: “We're really excited about this year's Running Festival, which has become a great community event and helps to raise precious funds for our village preschool, Waterbeach Toddler Playgroup.

“Hopefully this year will be the biggest yet.

“Aside from the friendly atmosphere it is a perfect course for personal bests because it is so flat and off road.”

In addition to the races there will be plenty going on in the festival village including bouncy slide, games and food stalls.

The Waterbeach Running Festival is taking place at the former Waterbeach Barracks again this year and is supported by developers Urban&Civic, who are taking forward development of the site on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

All funds raised go to Waterbeach Toddler Playgroup to enable them to continue to provide pre-school education and care for children in and around the area.

For more details and to enter the Running Festival visit www.waterbeachrunningfestival.co.uk

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