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Published: 14/04/2005, Volume II5, No. 5951 Page 22

Professor David Haslam, former chair of the Royal College of GPs and NHS Modernisation Board member

Doctors often dish out advice about getting fit and exercising, but how often do we practise what we preach?

I have now gone perhaps a thousand steps too far by entering the London Marathon this weekend.

I am 55, overweight, unfit and I've never tried anything like this before in my life. But I need a new challenge after completing my three years as chair of the Royal College of GPs - a marathon in itself.

Because my father died of a coronary when I was 14, I am running for the British Heart Foundation and have set up a website where you can sponsor me - www. haslammarathon. co. uk.

It is difficult to think of a greater challenge than the marathon, so I need all the support I can get.