A PHOTOGRAPHER who started running to lose weight has fulfilled a lifetime ambition.

Dad-of-two Ste Jones completed the London Marathon just 14 months after tackling his first Widnes Parkrun.

The 42-year-old has raised £3,411 to help regenerate a sensory garden at Chesnut Lodge School where his 15-year-old daughter Katie-Ellen is a pupil.

Ste, from Farnworth, said: “I lost five stone and was feeling better.

“I soon had the running bug that for 40 years of my life I had frowned upon.”

His intense training programme continued even when his daughter fell ill.

“Our disabled daughter who is profoundly deaf ended up in a high dependency unit for six weeks,” said Ste.”Even after a waking night at hospital I went home for a 10 mile run.

“The marathon itself was absolutely incredible. The support was amazing.

“I’d encourage anyone to have a go. I wasn’t a runner. I was 21 stone at one stage but if I can do it anybody can.”

Head teacher Heather Austin said:”Ste has been an inspiration to the whole school. Setting a long term goal to build up his strength and stamina and then completing the London Marathon demonstrates his drive and determination.

“The fact that he incorporated this into his fund raising initiative to support us in redeveloping our sensory garden was greatly appreciated and has provided us with some much needed support.”