Big guy Mike is turning into an iron man ...

Fitness ... Mike Hughes preparing for his next triathlon
Fitness ... Mike Hughes preparing for his next triathlon

A SUPER slimmer who completed an Olympic-length triathlon after shedding five stone in the space of nine weeks has now set himself an altogether more ambitious target.

Father-of-three Mike Hughes, 36, used to binge daily on high-fat junk food and get out of breath tying his shoelaces.

But, after turning his life on its head, he now relishes gruelling three-hour gym sessions and regular open water swimming and is planning to complete an incredible five triathlons in 2011.

Mike, of Newton-le-Willows, is keen to raise vital funds for local charities in the process too.

He said: “It’s fair to say I’ve well and truly caught the bug! I’m taking on the four-race Castle Triathlon Series this year, as well as competing in the Liverpool Triathlon against my brother, Carl.

“I’m starting off with a sprint triathlon at Cholmondeley Hall next month alongside my daughter Sasha, 13, and my nephew Sam Allmark, who’s nine. Then I’ll get started with the Olympic-length events.

“One of the Castle series, in August, is in Chantilly in France. I can’t wait.

“I’m dreading the Liverpool Triathlon though - I’d never live it down if I lost to my big brother. He’s super fit too, as well as being one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met!”

At the beginning of 2009 Mike regularly binged on four fast food meals a day and tipped the scales at more than 22 stone.

But, after starting to lose weight as a New Year’s resolution, he quickly lost nearly 20 per cent of his body weight.

Last summer, after 18 months of dieting and training, Mike clocked three hours and seven minutes in scorching temperatures at the Liverpool Triathlon.

And, supported all the way by his wife Debbie and children Simon, 22, Chelsea, 17, and Sasha, he has now trimmed down to about 16 and a half stone.

Incredibly, Mike is even looking further ahead than this year’s five triathlons too - he wants to take on the world-famous Hawaii Ironman Triathlon in 2013.

He added: “The Hawaii Ironman is my ultimate goal. It’s not for the faint-hearted though - it’s a four-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a marathon, all rolled into one!

“The way I used to eat feels like a bad dream now. It’s quite sinister in a way - it’s almost as if it was a completely different person who was sneaking off for secret meals.

“When I was in Singapore I even got hauled into passport control because I look so different to my old photo. It just shows how far I’ve come.”

Any local charities who want Mike to raise cash for them can call 07738 156079 or e-mail: