A sufferer with something to prove heads for the Andes

The athlete
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Chris Newberry, above, was about 11 when his doctor warned him against taking part in the school cross-country race. Chris, an asthma-sufferer, was having none of that. The following week he lined up with the other boys at Brookvale High School in Groby, Leicestershire, and set off. When he got back, still breathing, "there was quite a large feeling of satisfaction".

Chris is now 32. Once again he is out to prove the experts wrong. This time his target is set somewhat higher – about 14,000 feet. That's how high up a Peruvian mountain Chris plans to cycle this autumn, in part to raise money for the National Asthma Campaign, in part to show that asthma need not stop people taking on extreme physical challenges.

Asthma and sporting activity might seem incompatible, but Paula Radcliffe, Olympic runner and asthma-sufferer, shows what can be achieved in spite of the condition. "I've always enjoyed sport and I wasn't prepared to let asthma stop my enjoyment," Chris says. "Unless you've got exercise-induced asthma, then exercise is good for you." Today he is taking part in a half-marathon in his home town, Peterborough.

Chris is one of a group of 50 or so cyclists heading out to the Peruvian Andes and for him, he says, it will be like going back to that school cross-country. "It's not that a doctor has told me I can't do it. But I do want to prove something."

www.chrisnewberry.co.uk; www.asthma.org.uk

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