Share your fitness story with us

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WE want to hear from at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham who plan to spend this year improving their health.

You could quit smoking or drinking, take up exercise, or go on a diet.

Or do you have plans for a sponsored cycle, run, walk or swim?

It doesn’t have to be a Herculean challenge. The most important thing is that you take part in our Race For Fitness project.

Whatever your story, we want to hear it between now and the moment the Olympic flame is lit on Friday, July 27.

Why are we doing this?

Hartlepool has a shocking heart disease record.

More than 100 people are still dying of heart disease in Hartlepool each year, British Heart Foundation figures have shown.

One in five of Hartlepool’s population still smokes. The town’s rate of adult smokers was 21.9 per cent in 2010/11, which is higher than the England average which is 21 per cent, according to new figures just revealed to the Mail by anti-smoking campaign group FRESH.

The North-East has the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England with 2,406 admissions in 2009-10, NHS Information Centre figures show.

And in 2010, a six-month investigation into alcohol abuse showed nearly 30 per cent of Hartlepool’s drinking population downed more than the recommended daily amount of three to four units for men and two to three units for women.

Whatever your story, we want to hear it.

Contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email chris.cordner@northeast-press.co.uk or by calling (01429) 239377.