Andy’s gruelling run to support best friend

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Taking part in a charity fun run earlier this year made such an impression on Andy Hamilton that he completed the challenging Beachy Head 10K - run alongside the Beachy Head Marathon - last Saturday.

The Seaford-based college lecturer had not enjoyed running until he took part in ‘Race for LAM’ event held in Kent in May and organised by his friend Colin’s wife, Louise Robey, who has a rare, incurable lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis, (better known as LAM.)

He enjoyed the event so much he decided to compete in the 10k to raise funds for LAM Action which helps women with the condition, which progressively destroys lung tissue and leads to breathing problems and can cause benign kidney tumours. It also supports research into LAM, believed to affect around 250 women in the UK.

Andy said: “The Beachy Head’s gruelling climbs were relentless, but I crossed the line in a personal best time of 52.18 – 65th out of over 450 runners. All you need is a good reason to run, and mine was for LAM Action.” Louise said: “I can’t thank Andy enough. He has been such a huge support to me with all his fundraising efforts. It really does mean the world.”

Recalling how his attitude to running was transformed Andy said: “I’ve always been active and love a good adventure but running was not my thing. When Colin and Louise launched the idea of an LAM fun run over Facebook I showed my support and in January 2014 I donned an old pair of trainers, a moth eaten top and ran 3.2 kilometres for the first time since school. Stumbling back through the door feeling alive I knew that the next five months learning how to run would be tough but Louise and her family were worth every stride.” Andy got fitter over the winter and finally crossed the line of the Race for LAM with a personal best time.

Andy, has known Colin and Louise for 20 years because he and Colin used to play in a band together. He explained: “People started to ask ‘are you still running?’ to which I said ‘sort of,’ as I would pop out every now and again to keep my hand in. What I needed was another good reason to run. For me, LAM and my friends is that very good reason.”

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