28th March 2017
It’s always great to hear of people taking up running, but every so often we come across a story that really moves us and makes us think, “If he can do it, so can I!”.
Such is the case for Carl-Warren Dudley, who started running nearly 12 years ago and whose sheer love for the sport is completely infectious. Carl doesn’t run for PBs or to win races. He doesn’t care how fast he goes and he stops to take selfies whenever he feels like it. Carl just enjoys running for what it is – a chance to get out there, feel good about himself, see some amazing views, and forget about everything.
That’s not to say that Carl’s achievements haven’t been impressive, as they most certainly have. In fact, it’s amazing he’s running at all. Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1995, just nine years old, Carl underwent surgery which caused him to lose some of his eyesight, and he proceeded to gain weight through a mixture of poor diet and little exercise. By the beginning of 2015, he weighed more than 30 stone and found even walking an effort. And this was the moment that he decided to do something about it.
Two years later, thanks to a mix of running and changing his diet, Carl has lost over six and a half stone and has a jam-packed calendar of races for 2017. He ran his first 10K in July 2015 and the culmination of all his hard work will be the Berlin Marathon in September this year. That’s extraordinary progress in relatively little time. He is also a big fan of parkrun and a cheerful member of his local running club, the Wimbledon Windmilers, where he enjoys the social aspect of running.
Carl’s positive approach and refreshingly laid-back attitude that “the achievement is the finish line, not the finish time” means that he is getting fitter in the best way possible. He can feel a big difference already and is feeling great about himself, although he admits he still has work to do.
“My running goals are changing all the time,” he explains. “I started off with 10K races and I now know that I can always go out and run a 10K. My next challenge was a half marathon, and I completed my first one in 2016. I’ve just done the 2017 Vitality Brighton Half and my target was really just to finish, but I shaved 13 minutes off my PB by actually running slower! I had just learned how to better pace myself and the day was absolutely fantastic. The bar is always moving though, and my next goal is to get comfortable with the marathon distance, hence Berlin in September, my very first marathon!”.
In the meantime, Carl has a full schedule of races for the months ahead, mostly 10Ks and half marathons, and he is enjoying pushing himself as far as he can, and then a little bit more. He doesn’t care whether he wins a race and jokes that he gets more out of his entry fee if he takes longer – but we all know that the tortoise beats the hare, and Carl’s determination is truly admirable.
One evening recently Carl posted a video on his Instagram feed that sums up how one awesome run can make up for a bad day at work or a tough moment in life. One of his followers tweeted that his video has inspired her to go running too, and for him this was a real moment of realisation and joy that his story is motivating others to get out running or to just get active any way they want.
We certainly wish Carl the very best of luck with his running goals this year and for many more years to come; he already has his eye on the sun-drenched shores of Cyprus for next year’s Limassol Marathon. He is an inspiring example of how believing in yourself and just going for it can completely turn your life around.
Follow Carl Warren on his blog.