At the start of 2013, Mike Robinson made the usual new year resolutions.

Lose weight, stop smoking and join the gym – much the same as any other year. But this time something felt different! And it has ended up triggering a major fundraising and fitness challenge.

An initial weigh-in flagged him at 14 stone.

“Not a great start, but this encouraged me to join the gym, bin the cigarettes and no looking back this time,” said Mike, marketing manager with Bradford firm Associated Waste Management.

August brought his first 10k road race in York with a finish time of 1hr 17min. Training continued, both on the treadmill and on the road.

By now Mike, who is 38, could see that his weight loss was increasing.

“I was still off the cigarettes and for once started feeling lots better,” he said.

Working for AWM, he had been involved with fundraising previously, both for the Isabella Grace Fund and Overgate Hospice in Elland, near Halifax. Then he came up with a plan to combine the two. Then, through a contact, he applied for a place on the Overgate Great North Run team – 13.1 miles, Newcastle to Gateshead, with 56,000 other runners and now the world’s largest half-marathon. Mike added: “This is going to be a big challenge. But most importantly I hope to raise much-needed funds to help sustain such a valuable and vital service.”

He is putting in 40 miles a week at the gym and aims to finish the run in 1hr 35mins. He has lost 2.5 stone in the process.

Anyone who wants to sponsor Mike can visit his Just Giving website.