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~ how I lost 15 stone and started running marathons ~

"I challenge you to read Mike’s story of his own Olympic journey and not believe that you have the potential inside you to accomplish something that you’ve previously pushed to the back of your mind and thought ridiculous and out of your reach."
Liz Yelling, double British Olympic Marathon runner

May 2009/London - At the age of 50 in October 2004, Mike Hare, a Peterborough-based businessman, weighed almost 28 stone. When he fell asleep at the wheel of his car he caused a near fatal car crash. Miraculously, he walked from the scene without a scratch and felt he'd been given a second chance and should 'lose a bit of weight' and do more with his life. By the age of 54 he weighed in at 12.5 stone and had completed four half marathons and three full marathons. From Sofa to Start Line - how I lost 15 stone and started running marathons is Mike's candid and compelling memoir releasing on 9th September 2009 (TISM Enterprises, £9.99 - available from - for every signed copy sold, 50p will be donated to The Prostate Cancer Charity) to mark the 5th anniversary of the car crash that changed his life.

From Sofa to Start Line is an intensely personal, compelling and, at times, humorous memoir of Mike's remarkable journey that engages with the near-fatal car crash and concludes with him competing in the Athens Classic Marathon in November 2008 - one of the toughest marathons in the world - completing 26.2 miles in 5 hours 58 mins 57 secs crossing the finish line in the world famous Panathenaikon Stadium in Athens.

Along the way he acquired the nickname from his closest friends of 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' which became the title of his blog on , and his personal website , now read by people in over 50 countries around the world. Amongst his running friends and fellow RealBuzz bloggers, he is simply known as 'TISM.'

Mike’s decision to reclaim his life and overhaul his body began with his innovative approach to the use of the ‘anti-obesity’ drug Xenical which he took for a short while to get the weight loss kick-started and which he gave up after losing the first few stone. "I think you should do a run!" was the chance comment from his Doctor later in the weight loss project which set about a chain of events that were to change Mike's life. Little could anyone have known how this casual comment would lead Mike to take on the Great North Run – Newcastle’s iconic half marathon – as a strictly one-off affair, (or so he thought at the time!).

Shedding a whopping 15 stone, reducing his body weight by 54% and losing 23 inches from his waist left Mike with two rather 'difficult' areas of ‘loose skin’ on his abdomen and inner thighs yet, having by this time caught the attention of the media due to his escalating running achievements, his growing 'TISM' celebrity and his rampant motivation, his local NHS Trust were prompted to offer him the chance of surgical removal at Addenbrookes Hospital.

The stomach operation left him with over 3ft of scars on his torso, yet just three months after this operation he ran his second half marathon, and two months later he ran the London Marathon,
followed six weeks later by the Edinburgh Marathon.

The essential thigh operation quickly followed, but the further 2.5ft of scars didn’t stop him from repeating the Great North Run (this time with the youngest of his four daughters running it alongside him), and one week later the Great Eastern Run in his home city of Peterborough- a race for which the Council had by now appointed him their ‘Inspirational Ambassador’. Finally he took on the ultimate challenge of the original ‘Marathon Run’ from Marathon to Athens and completed it after a heroic battle along the route where he finally laid to rest his remaining ‘inner demons.’

More Fascinating Facts about The Incredible Shrinking Man's transformation:

• He has 5ft 5ins of surgery scars (surgery only for the removal of excess skin)
• Skin removed from his abdomen weighed 3 kilos
• His waist reduced by 23" from 61" - 38"
• His neck size reduced by 7" from 23" - 16"
• He shed 54% of his body weight
• He reduced his BMI from 57 to 27
• He lost a whole shoe size, from 11 - 10
• His shirt size reduced from 6XL to XL
• And he has run 200 miles of races to date and has raised thousands of pounds for The Prostrate Cancer Charity in memory of some of his old friends.

Click here to see incredible before and after pictures -

From Sofa to Start Line is the inevitable response to the world-wide fascination in Mike's story! It is a ‘no holds barred’ account in his own words of the immense and totally life changing, if completely unexpected, result of a simple decision to ‘lose a bit of weight.’

His story will truly lead the reader through a minefield of emotions. You will laugh out loud with him, you will wince at his pain, you will be inspired each time he steps boldly outside of his comfort zones, and you will be cheering him on up the endless hills towards Athens and into the marble stadium which stands tribute to his final success as a marathon runner. From Sofa to Start Line - how I lost 15 stone and started running marathons is an inspiring read for anyone who feels the life they are currently living is not enough.
All media publicity enquiries including requests for interviews/review copies/extracts to
Sue Blake Media on 0208 979 5220 ~
From Sofa to Start Line, £9.99 ISBN: 978-0-9562479-0-2
(Paperback, 264 pages with colour photos)

Notes to Editors

1. From Sofa to Start Line has a Foreword written by Liz Yelling, British Olympic Marathon runner in Athens and Beijing. Additional forewords are from Dr K. S. Rigg. Mike Hare’s GP, and John Neate, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity for which Mike has raised considerable donations and publicity through his running.

2. From the period of Spring 2007, when TISM went for his very first gentle jog (fast walk) - (to see if he in fact could) to Spring 2009, he has run a total of 200 miles of road races, including four full marathons in London, Edinburgh, Athens and recently Rome (March 2009). For details of his Races go to

3. Mike started his blog on in March 2007. By the Athens Marathon in 2008 it was exceeding 1000 hits a day. During the past couple of years Mike has obtained a substantial following through his Blog and his own very personal website which has been visited from 58 countries. He runs a free web-based helpline service from this site to help motivate others who are struggling with their 'weight loss battles and demons.'

4. He has been featured in short profile films on his local television stations, and has become a firm favourite of both national and local radio with his frank approach to helping others to lose weight and take more exercise.

5. TISM has been featured on BBC Television on both Grandstand and the News Channel. He has been featured in The Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph on-line, The Daily Star, and The Sun (in Scotland), and with one of his daughters in a feature article in Chat Magazine. He was in great demand recently commentating on anti-obesity drugs now being for sale without a prescription, appearing on the main BBC News, Radio Four’s today programme, Radio Five Live, his local radio stations, and even taking part in a phone-in on Radio Wales.

6. In 2008 he was invited by Peterborough City Council to become the ‘Inspirational Ambassador’ for The Great Eastern Run, and this year he is reprising that role ( and is additionally the Main Spokesman for the Race.

7. He continues to work as Director and part owner of a Market Research Consultancy specialising in national consumer research in the Direct Marketing field, but finds that he is spending more and more of his time as a motivational speaker and writer.

8. He is currently exploring the creation of his own Charity within TISM Enterprises Ltd and will be working on the sequel to this book before the year is out!

9. In the meantime, for every copy of the book sold through his website Mike has pledged to donate 50p to The Prostate Cancer Charity.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Sue Blake Media in the following categories: Men's Interest, Health, Leisure & Hobbies, Sport, for more information visit