From couch potato to marathon runner: how Troy lost 53kg
STANDING on the Esplanade in Hervey Bay, Troy Geltch looks at the track with a strong sense of familiarity.
"I have run thousands of kilometres back and forth on here," he said.
The runner completed his first-ever 100km event at the weekend.
Though looking like a seasoned athlete, regular runs weren't always part of Mr Geltch's story. Instead, he was obese for most of his life.
Mr Geltch's teenage years were consumed by video games, junk food and Red Bull.
In 2012, Mr Geltch lost his brother to a car crash which led him to pile on even more weight than he already had.
He weighed 135kg at his heaviest.
Now aged 25, he has lost 53kg in an amazing two-year transformation.
The change began in 2014 where at a visit to the doctors, he was informed his weight would impact him in his chosen career.
"They told me I couldn't be a pilot if I didn't lose weight, and so I made a change immediately," he said.
"I Googled Hervey Bay running, and information came up about ParkRun."
At that time, it was going to be the first ever Hervey Bay ParkRun.
Mr Geltch chickened out of going to that debut event, but dragged his mum along to the second week.
"I did the run in like 45min, and everyone clapped when I reached the finish line," he said.
"Now I've done it in 20min and 40sec. I've been going pretty much every week since then."
Running 100km was a goal Mr Geltch set for himself early on.
He completed the Blackall 100 event on Sunday in 16hrs and 54min.
"I cried twice during it," he said.
"Once was at the 50km mark when the sense of how real the event was just hit me.
"When I crossed the finish line, I jumped and tapped my feet.
"The feeling at the end was insane."
He said a change in diet was vital to his progress.
"I still have a big appetite, but have found a balance," he said.
Mixing rice and black beans is his go-to meal. He also turned vegan three months ago.
But, he hasn't completely let go of junk food, and never will.
He said he especially loves doughnuts - the red velvet variety in particular.
"It can be hard looking at old photos, it's been a two-year process and you almost forget that was you," he said.
"I was still a happy person, but now I have so much energy and it just feels great."
Inspiring others has been a key component of what has kept him going.
The outdoors is his gym, and he said being fit really doesn't have to cost a lot.
"It's the price of running shoes," he said."You just need to take the first step, and for me that was ParkRun."
Mr Geltch works as a full-time pilot with his family's business Air Fraser Island. His next major life event is getting married in December to partner Lucy.
He will compete in an IronMan race next year.
Mr Geltch is on the Fraser Coast Chronicle's Kick the Kilos team on the Strava phone app, and loves to use it.
Follow his journey on his Facebook page here.