It was an unflattering photo that prompted Nicholas Magdalinos to change his lifestyle.

The 34-year-old who weighed 116kg was at a black tie function last year and there was no way his bow tie was going to detract from his stomach.

"I saw a picture of myself from that evening and I thought something seriously needs to be done here. So I threw myself into the deep end with a bit of running and healthy eating and here I am."

He has lost 27 kilograms and will next week compete in his first ever full marathon at the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay International Marathon on May 14.


The managing director of Paris Magdalinos said he had always been interested in sport but now he had made a complete switch.

"For me, it's all about running and my eating. From the 1st of August until October last year I had lost 20 kilograms and now I have lost about 27 kilograms, so that's a pretty good start I guess."

Mr Magdalinos said he was a huge advocate of the area was keen to support the new event.

"Although, I didn't envisage myself doing the full marathon. I guess one thing led to another and I just kept training and by the time I came around to entering the race I thought 'well I have already done a few half marathons so I may as well risk a little bit more and jump into bed with the full distance'."

Training had been going well but it was always a juggling act as 80 per cent of Mr Magdalinos' work was out of Hawke's Bay.

"It has been a bit of a juggling act, trying to fit in enough training with work. It's been a bit mad and it's daunting to think it's only next weekend, but I'm really looking forward to the day."

His personal trainer Brandon Campbell has been keeping him on track and will run with him on the day - competing his first full marathon as well.

Managing Director of Ironman Oceania Dave Beeche said Nic's story was inspiring.

"We are delighted that our event can be the catalyst for this sort of change. Many of our competitors across all of our events have their own special back story and for many that is celebrating the overcoming of a health or personal obstacle."

"In this case - and there are others like Nic, he is actually using the running of the Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay International Marathon to get that process started and the event itself will be a huge challenge.

But I am sure that this will just be the start of a better life for Nic and who knows, it might be the first but maybe not the last time we will hear of Nic on the start list of a marathon."