Leigh steps into a new fit, healthy way of life

IF YOU need an inspiration to get off the couch and into some fitness Rockhampton's Leigh D'Arcy is the perfect role model, or you might say, the biggest loser.

Three years ago, the Rockhampton father-of-three was "hopelessly overweight'' and instead of reaching for the television remote he decided to do something about it.

In his first 12 months pacing the sidewalk with the 10,000 Steps program D'Arcy lost an amazing 25kg.

Feeling fit and healthy again, D'Arcy, now 46, set his sights on his next challenge ? the sport of triathlon.

"I got a bit bored with just walking and running so I took up triathlons,'' D'Arcy said.

"I can still remember my first one ? I nearly drowned ? but after that I did three races around this time and went on to do the Half Ironman at Rydges (in August) that year.

"Triathlon is a sport that once you get into, it's completely addictive.''

This weekend, D'Arcy will contest his second Hell of the West Half Ironman at Goondiwindi.

D'Arcy, who is preparing to tackle a gruelling 2km swim, 80km cycle and 20km run in the men's 45-50 years division, said it was about taking his body to the limit, in a race he hopes to finish in around five hours.

"For me, it's a lot about finishing and pushing myself, not about winning,'' said D'Arcy, who will be cheered on by his loyal support team of wife, Donna, and daughters, Miranda, 15, Georgia, 10, and Isabella, 7.

"The conditions are always tough ? you're doing a half ironman in the middle of summer ? it's a crazy race.''

Fellow Frenchville Frogs Triathlon Club members, Farnborough's Peter Wheelhouse, Rockhampton's Mike Dalton and Gladstone's Pru Oswin, will also battle the heat in this weekend's event.

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