Man will run Chichester Half Marathon a year after heart attack

Warrell Harris before and after his heart attack in June, 2016
Warrell Harris before and after his heart attack in June, 2016

A man who suffered a heart attack a year ago and a mum wanting to give back to St Richard’s Hospital will be amongst those lining up for the Chichester Half Marathon this Sunday.

Last June, Warrell Harries, 58, noticed some symptoms as he cycled to work but brushed them off as asthma.

A few days later, while out for lunch with friends, he began to feel ‘strange’ again, and when the pain got worse he took himself to St Richard’s Hospital to get checked out.

He was told he was having a heart attack and was sent straight to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Southsea.

After surgery to clear a blocked artery and fit stents, Warrell was told he could go back to normal in six weeks.

Despite being fairly active, Warrell knew that his drinking and eating habits were probably to blame.

He was determined to make a change and in the autumn, his daughter - a keen runner herself - encouraged him to give it a try.

Having never run for more than ten minutes before, Warrell struggled doing his first Chichester Parkrun in Oaklands Park. But he returned week after week and hasn’t looked back since.

After encouragement from a friend who had also had a recent health scare, Warrell signed up for the tough Chichester Half Marathon, organised by local charity, Children on the Edge.

Warrell will be running for PAPYRUS, the national charity for the prevention of young suicide.

He said: “I am raising money for PAPYRUS because a year ago, a cyclist friend of mine lost his daughter in a way that might have been avoided if the outreach had been there for her.

Also lining up on the start line will be Marit Undheim, raising money for the Friends of Chichester Hospitals.

Last year Marit’s son, Michael Andreas, was born six weeks premature at.

Needing extra care, Michael and Marit ended up staying at the neonatal unit at for just under two weeks, receiving the ‘best of care’ to give Michael the best start in life.

Noticing that all the essential equipment used to help Michael was donated by charity the Friends, Marit and her partner decided to give back to the Friends and help support babies like Michael in the future.

She has already raised £270 and hopes to reach her target of £500 on completion of the race.

To support Marit’s cause visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/maritundheim1

To find our more about the Friends of Chichester Hospitals, visit www.friendsofchichesterhospitals.org.uk

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