Newry.ie

Alastair Chambers from Newry has completed his first ever 10K run, overcoming his physical and mental obstacles to chase a life-changing goal with Bridgestone UK in their 'Everyday Battlers' campaign.

The campaign began with a four-month physical training programme for Alastair who has been suffering with stress-induced psoriasis since the death of his mum in 2006 and it was his way of fighting back against his condition and helping raise awareness for others who have to live with it too.

Alastair Chambers completes his 10K run as part of the Everyday Battlers team. Photograph: Sam Mellish
Alastair Chambers completes his 10K run as part of the Everyday Battlers team. Photograph: Sam Mellish

Alastair aged 39,was one of just nine people across the UK to participate in the campaign. Bridgestone enlisted the help of Olympic Games Rio 2016 gold medallist Chris Mears and performance psychologist, Professor Greg Whyte for the challenge, both of whom provided both mental and physical support during Alastair’s journey.

After completing the 10k run, Alastair said: “When the journey started, I wouldn’t have dreamt I would have been able to do this. I’m now a lot fitter, healthier and feel so much better about myself. My psoriasis is now 95% clear, and that is due in part to the Everyday Battlers campaign and being fitter and healthier.

“I hope to inspire other people with psoriasis and encourage them to be less self-conscious about the condition and to talk about it. It is a condition that you are aware of every day and it affects your confidence. People shouldn’t be ashamed of it at all. There are solutions out there, which I hope I have been able to demonstrate.”

Synchronised springboard diving champion Chris created the unique task for a group of people to conquer, callingon all his experience of having to fight to realise his own dreams against all odds, when he almost died from a ruptured spleen as a 16-year-old.

Fittingly, he was on hand to guide participants through every step of the four-month challenge, which was created to inspire people to reach their own goals, no matter their backgrounds or personal circumstances. It all concluded with the 10k run at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

A total of nine ‘Everyday Battlers’ were selected by a judging panel to participate, all of whom have an emotional story which inspired them to take up the task in the first place.

The group embody the spirit of Bridgestone’s Chase Your Dream, No Matter What campaign to complete the challenge, gaining a life skill that will empower them to chase their own dreams.

In 2009, Chris Mears suffered a ruptured spleen and was given a five percent chance of survival by doctors. He was told it was likely that he would never dive again. However, with a fighting spirit and surrounded by a team of medical professionals, fitness trainers and psychologists, he overcame the odds to return to the diving board.

Alastair Chambers runs in the Everyday Battlers 10K at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Photograph: Sam Mellish Photo
Alastair Chambers runs in the Everyday Battlers 10K at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Photograph: Sam Mellish Photo

Chris said: “I don’t think the participants quite understand how much they have inspired me. They’ve done something remarkable and are a great source of inspiration to me and everyone at Bridgestone.

“Completing a 10km run is a huge prospect for some people who might never dream of participating for a number of reasons, let alone complete the race.

“We were touched by Alastair’s personal story which underpinned his place as an Everyday Battler and it was a very emotional moment to see him cross the finish line.”

To watch Alastair and Bridgestone’s Everyday Battlers’ journey to 10k, visit YOUTU.BE

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