AN EX-STUDENT from Robert Blake Science College faced his demons and returned to finish the school's gruelling cross-country run at age 44.

Gary Wilmot, who grew up in Bridgwater, went from being unable to run a few metres for the bus two years ago to gearing up to run the London Marathon this year.

But before Gary was to face the London Marathon, he knew he had to finish the run he could never complete in his youth.

Gary said: “That was the first time I have ever run the entire course. When we were at school I would run a few hundred metres, and then pretty much walk the rest of the way.

“In later years, me and a mate would even have a crafty smoke or two on our way around the course.”

Nine years ago Gary moved to Perth in Australia and at age 42 he had developed serious health problems.

Gary said: “I had been smoking fairly heavily for 27 years or more, was overweight and completely out of shape.

“In all honesty I knew I was probably only a year or two away from being a heart attack statistic.”

Two years ago Gary started training for Perth Marathon in June 2013 which he finished in last place with a time of 6 hours 47 minutes.

Now Gary is taking part in the 2014 London Marathon as a Heart Foundation charity runner.

He's looking to raise $7000 in donations, and about $3000 in personal sponsorship to pay for travel and accommodation.

Gary said: “If I can run a marathon at the age of 44, with almost 30 years of neglect and abuse of my body, then anyone can.”

If you would like to sponsor Gary, you can do so from his website at