Mum Nicola runs for a hearty cause

Nicola Wiseman, who ran the London MarathonNicola Wiseman, who ran the London Marathon
Nicola Wiseman, who ran the London Marathon
Super slimmer and mum Nicola Wiseman has completed the London Marathon '“ no mean feat considering she has been through a minor stroke and open heart surgery.

Nicola, a member of Weight Watchers in Lytham, suffered a TIA (minor stroke) in 2005, and was diagnosed with a mitral valve prolapse. She had to have heart surgery to save her life.

And she made the decision last year, to don her running shoes and take part in the London Marathon, in aid of the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

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Nicola, who has three children, had made the resolution to get fit, lose weight and – for the first time – keep it off, last May.

She joined her local gym, brought a pair of running trainers and started the Couch To 5K running programme – inspired by friends who ran regularly. Nine weeks later, she ran her first 5k race.

She got the bug for running and started entering more races. The 38-year-old of Lytham also rejoined Weight Watchers as a new member.

She had given birth to her first daughter Ella Rose two years after her surgery, followed by second daughter Lily Grace and then in 2011, her son Oliver was born.

All of these life events affected her weight.

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In August 2015, she reached her new goal weight of 8st 7lb – down from 10st 2lbs.

A week later, she received a phone call from the BHF telling her she had been successful in applying for a place in the London Marathon this year, which she had applied for “on a whim” but was delighted to get a charity place.

Nicola, who is assistant headteacher at Kirkham St Michael’s CE Primary School, said: “Almost a year after I made the decision to improve my life, I have maintained my gold Weight Watchers membership; I attend my Weight Watchers meetings at least once a month; I have remained within my 5lb goal weight (some months I weigh less than my goal weight) and I have completed the London Marathon. I couldn’t be happier.

“At the age of 38, I am the slimmest and fittest I have ever been.

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“This time the weight is staying off and the muscles are staying on.

“I love my new body and I love attending my Weight Watchers meetings – they keep me motivated and accountable, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive leader than Andy.”

Nicola was in the middle of teaching in February 2005, when she was struck down with a minor stroke.

While in hospital, tests revealed she had a mitral valve prolapse – where one or both of the mitral valve flaps in the heart don’t close tightly, allowing blood to leak from one chamber to another.

• Nicola attends Andy Halliwell’s Weight Watchers group on a Monday night, at Lytham Methodist Church on Park Street at 6.30pm.