North Walsham London Marathon runner Chris Balding’s triple reason to support Asthma UK

A north Norfolk man with three strong reasons to support Asthma UK will be running for the charity in this month's London Marathon.

Chris Balding's grandmother Anne Applin died in 1994 from the chronic respiratory disease, aged 59. She had suffered from asthma all her life.

Mr Balding suffered from it as a child and he was also with a former girlfriend when she had a life-threatening asthma attack.

'I've lost someone, felt it and lived it,' said Mr Balding, 28, of Kimberley Road, North Walsham, who said he had never attempted any sort of marathon before.

'I lost my grandmother when I was about nine, but she was great, kind, generous and believed in me,' he said.

'I'm dyslexic and when all others thought I would not succeed and would not help, she still believed in me. She always wanted the best for me and sadly never got to see it as she passed away before I changed schools and began to realise my potential.'

Running the London is on Mr Balding's '30 list' - a variation on the 'bucket list' of goals people set themselves to achieve before they die.

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In this case, the feat is on Mr Balding's list of things to do before he turns 30, in September next year.

He is hoping to raise at least �4,500 for the cause, helped by his employers Barclays Bank who match employees' charitable fund-raising up to �750.

Mr Balding, who works as a cashier at the bank's North Walsham branch, was recently presented with a regional Barclays community Way Ahead award, including �500 which he plans to put in his fund-raising pot.

Although not previously a runner, Mr Balding said he was fairly fit, played cricket for Bacton and was captain of North Walsham's hockey second team.

He has been training hard for the 26-mile race on April 22, despite being unable to run for five days recently after his foot was hit by a hockey stick in the final minute of the final match of the season.

Anyone who would like to sponsor his bid can do so either at the North Walsham branch of Barclays, on Market Place, or online at: www.justgiving.com/themadhatter

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