Louise Harding running and cycling in the London Duathlon (10km run / 44km bike / 5km run) 18th September 2016

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On 18th September ‘I did it!! I managed to complete the London Duathlon course with no walking and went faster than anticipated, taking 2hrs and a rather annoying 1 minute! (Should have eaten my banana a little quicker in transition between the run and bike!) A great day out in beautiful surroundings and was made all the better by raising £1600 for VHL UK/Ireland. When the going got tough I just had to think of what Michael and fellow VHL sufferers go through and it felt easy!
As many of you will know, I am not a runner! So, it’s been a bit of a struggle, but with a few weeks to go I was optimistic that I would be able to complete the course. In so doing I hope to have increased awareness of von Hippel-Lindau disease and the VHL UK/Ireland charity. Michael, a close family friend, was diagnosed with VHL at 13 years of age. This is a rare genetic disease in which multiple tumours grow in certain parts of the body. It was Michael’s brain that was mainly effected and he underwent many neurosurgical operations over the next 13 years until he died recently at the age of 26. Michael lived his life as fully as he possibly could, passing his exams and going to university to study Architecture. Michael loved life and inspired those who knew him with his courage, determination and his sense of humour.

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