Profile: James McCormack's Story

Around twelve months ago, Athlone man James McCormack wasn’t even able to run for 100 metres.

He was seriously overweight, weighing over 26 stone at his heaviest, and “in a bad place mentally". Now living in Canada, the 29-year-old has since embarked on a remarkable weight loss journey which has seen him lose over seven stone.

He is currently preparing for his toughest challenge yet: running the Toronto half marathon on Sunday, May 6. One of James’s main motivations for the half marathon challenge is to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society as his Mum, Kathleen, has been battling cancer for the last five years and is currently quite ill.

“The main reason that I’ve chosen the Irish Cancer Society is that I would love to do something to make my Mam proud,” said James.

"She has been through so much with all of this, but she has been so strong and so brave. She really is an inspiration to me and nothing at all seems to faze her. “Sometimes it’s hard not being at home by her side when she’s going through this battle, but we have a very tight-knit family and I know she’s being looked after very well. I know everybody always thinks their own Mammy is the best Mammy in the world, and I’m no different.”

As he embarked on the weight loss journey, he set up Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts under the name ‘Wont Fit Get Fit’ to provide updates on his progress. In a YouTube video, he said taking up running was a major factor in helping him shed the pounds, and over time his fitness improved to the extent that he could finish 5k races, and then two 10k races.

However he said the half marathon would be a major test. “I still weigh over 19 stone, so it’s safe to say that, for me, running a half marathon is easily the toughest challenge I’ve taken on in my life, but it’s a challenge I’m going to relish and give it my all.”

* Excerp from Westmeath Independent - to read the full story click here *

James’s fundraising page can be found at