From fast food to fast running
Weighing in at 245 pounds in the summer of 2012, Christian Rupieper said to himself: “This is too much.”
But even after kicking the fizzy drinks, candy and fried food to the curb, Rupieper, of Germany, couldn’t have expected his campaign to get fit would yield such dramatic results.
He aimed to lose 45 pounds — but has succeeded in shedding nearly twice that, as his weight has plummeted to 165 pounds.
And his initial ambition to run 5K now seems small fry, as he prepares to take part in this weekend’s Bermuda Triangle Challenge with nine successfully completed half-marathons already under his belt.
Along the way, he’s even had to fight off serious illness and a triple fracture in his ankle which required three surgeries and left doctors saying he wouldn’t be able to run again.
It’s certainly been a rewarding three years for the 46-year-old, who said: “You can achieve everything, if you really want.”
His injury, in late 2012, left him bedridden for four months just as he was beginning to get into the sport; as late as February 2013 he was making small steps with crutches and “learning to walk again like a baby”.
On his website, Rupieper recalls: “Many times I stumbled and fell down, but I always stood up again. It was a tough experience.”
By May 2013, he was spending four hours on a spinning bike, and he completed his first 5K walking competition in June.
Soon he extended his walking distance to 10K and 15K, before taking part in a 10K running event in New York and another in Scotland shortly afterwards. In December 2013, he completed his first half-marathon, the Palm Beaches Marathon in Florida, in 2hr 26min.
Last October, in his ninth half-marathon, Rupieper recorded a time of 2:07 at the Niagara Falls International.
Now his remarkable journey brings him to Bermuda.
“It’s always great to run in a great location and for my 10th half-marathon I looked for somewhere special,” Rupieper told The Royal Gazette.
“I’m sure Bermuda is the right place, with the colourful streets and the ocean — that’s a perfect place for a run.
“Running is one of the most important things in my life now. I have never done a Triangle Challenge like this before, with three races in three days, and the warm weather will be a great challenge for me but I’m well trained and I’m sure I will achieve a good personal result.
“For me the Triangle Challenge is not only a running challenge, it is a great start to 2015 and the possibility to run in paradise.
“The beautiful island of Bermuda and the friendly people will give me an additional motivation. It’s fantastic to earn four medals for the Challenge — they will get a special place in my living room.”
Rupieper’s story has taken him all over the world, including Spain and Canada, but he expects a truly special experience in Bermuda.
“This is the first time that I’m very excited and I think the reason is not that I have to run three races in three days — I think it’s the curiosity of a beautiful island and their residents,” he said.
“It’s a long way from Germany to Bermuda but no way is too far to visit the paradise. When I return to Germany I will not only have four medals in my pocket and hundreds of pictures, more important are the great impressions and maybe some new friendships.”
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