31 May 2016

A GYM member has marked an incredible turnaround in his health by completing a 725-mile trek from Ben Nevis to Big Ben.

Tony Robinson, from Colne, changed his former taste for burgers and beer to attend Pendle Healthy Lifestyles classes in 2011. Now he has completed the gruelling Ben to Ben challenge by walking and cycling.

And he is convinced he never would have been able to complete his mammoth task without the help and support of the healthy lifestyles team.

He said: “To achieve a goal like this would have seemed impossible six years ago.

“Exercise has changed my life and I would like to thank family, friends and the team at Pendle Leisure Centre for helping me all the way.”

When Mr Robinson was first introduced to the Pendle Leisure Trust through the healthy lifestyles team, he was an overweight smoker diagnosed with depression.

Now, alongside exercise consultant John Bannister, Tony has climbed the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales.

They started with a trek up Ben Nevis, then cycled 250 mile to Scafell Pike to scale the highest mountain in England. The pair then cycled 250 miles to Snowdon in Wales to climb the mountain 1,085 metres above sea level, before finishing by cycling another 200 miles to London.

Mr Robinson has re-gained his self-confidence thanks to his training regime and completed his first triathlon.

He has also completed two Coast to Coast cycle rides, a number of Tough Mudders, The Yorkshire 3 Peaks and The National 3 Peaks.

Paul Whittaker, manager at Pendle Leisure Centre, said: “Tony has taken full advantage of the support and expert advice on offer from our fitness team and this has taken him a long way during his transformation. He has shown commitment, guts and determination that was an essential ingredient to his success and is a true inspiration.”