A WIRRAL mum-of-two who overcame breast cancer and achieved a personal best in a 10-kilometre run has thanked a marine-style fitness class for helping her to regain fitness.

Suzy Smallwood, from Pensby, discovered lumps in her breasts back in December 2011 and had to undergo surgery at Arrowe Park Hospital and eight cycles of chemotherapy between January and August 2012.

Suzy, a data analyst at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, found the treatment took its toll on her fitness as well as affecting her weight.

After taking part in an exercise programme at Wirral fitness centre Commando X-Fit, Suzy completed the Port Sunlight 10k run in 51 minutes - knocking seven minutes off her previous year's time.

The 51-year-old said: "I had always been quite fit and to suddenly find out I had breast cancer in my late forties was a real shock.

"I had surgery on both sides - the chemo treatment really took it out of me for about six months and it really impacted on my fitness levels.

"I went to Tom at Commando X-Fit and he drew up a fitness plan for me.

"He took into account the surgery I'd had and tailored the programme especially suited to me.

"It's really improved my health and well-being and I’m a lot fitter now than I’ve ever been."

Commando X-Fit owner, Tom Tranfield, an ex-Royal Marine, puts his eight years' experience in the military to use by supporting people of all ages to regain their levels of fitness and create more positive thinking.

He has helped hundreds of adults as well as children through a Wirral schools initiative programme.

Tom Tranfield added: "Suzy has done so well since coming back to fitness after her chest operation.

"I'll never forget at first she could not do one press up because of the nature of the surgery, so we modified it so she did press ups on her knees.

"Over a period of time, her strength built up and now she’s running rings around a lot of the fitter people.

"She also recently achieved her personal best in a 10k too - an unbelievable woman!"

Tom's classes have helped many people, young and old, lose stones and not just pounds. His motto is 'Hard, fast and aggressive’, is the best way to shift calories by burning fat.'

In mid-May Suzy took part in 'Granite Warriors' on and around Thurstaston beach.

Teams competed against one another and were required to pull trucks, disassemble and re-assemble mock cannons and carrying their components up and down the sandy cliff face.

The next 'Granite Warrior 2 - Total Annihilation' is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 1, at 9am, at Thurstaston beach.