It began as a jog and he kept on running
THREE years ago Clay Dawson could barely run.
Two weeks ago he won the Brisbane Marathon.
Not a bad effort for a bloke who at his heaviest tipped the scales at 120kg before shedding 50kg to win the 2013 Queensland Marathon.
It was his first competitive race.
He followed that up with third place at the Hobart Marathon before finishing second at the Queensland Marathon on the Gold Coast earlier this year.
The 33-year-old Rosewood State High teacher finished sixth at this year's Australian Marathon Championships.
Dawson's remarkable progression in the sport is set to continue when he competes in the Sunshine Coast Marathon on Sunday, August 31, in Mooloolaba.
"I suppose it has all been a bit unconventional, but I am glad that I fell in love with running before I fell in love with podiums," he said.
"You could call it a pure approach."
Despite referring to his past self as "chubby", he strangely never considered himself overweight until he undertook a university market research program.
It was then he faced the stark reality that he was in fact obese.
"They were asking for obese males and I put my weight and my height in and they accepted me, so that was a bit of a wake-up call," he said.
"Up until then I just thought it was my body shape and I couldn't do anything about it."
Spurred on by some adventure racing while living in Canada, Dawson returned to Australia determined to shed some weight.
Working out one day, Dawson unfortunately broke the gym equipment he was using and decided to go for a jog.
He has been running ever since.
"I ran around the block and just kept on running and now I am doing marathons," he said.
"I have always wanted to run the Coast marathon because I just love the community you guys have up there.
"I can't wait to get out there in Mooloolaba."
- Won the 2013 Queensland Marathon in his debut race
- Won the 2014 Brisbane Marathon
- Finished second in the 2014 Queensland Marathon
- Will be contesting the Sunshine Coast Marathon on Sunday, August 31