Mar 6, 2015 10:16 PM

Exeter man on running mission

(HAMPTON)- To see Paul Oakes of Exeter in the middle of a training exercise, it's hard to believe just last year he was 50 pounds heavier.

"I'd become one with the couch," said Oakes. "I mean I could show you a picture.
I'm literally sitting on the couch, and there's really little distinction between it and I."

Those days are history after Oakes made a pact with his wife to get fit.

"She and I had made a commitment to each other to keep going to the gym," said Oakes.
After seeing results, Oakes began to run for exercise.

"It was a great satisfaction when it got to the point where I was actually running as fast as I used to run when I was 16-years-old," said Oakes.

Now he is hooked on pounding the pavement. With the help of trainer Chris Jankins, Oakes is preparing for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon March 15.

"Part of it that people don't understand is you have to have those aha moments like, 'Oh my, God! I feel that!,'" said Jankins. "That takes time, and it takes repetition, after repetition, after repetition."

Oakes has put in the time, and it might just have something to do with the real reason he will be running the half marathon, a charity known as Team Fox. The cause hits close to home for Oakes. His father has Parkinson's disease.

"I was worried for the street that I'd tear it up," said Oakes. "Because there's nothing that's going to stop me."


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