Chris Morley's 5K / 365 challenge

27th February 2017

If you never know, or no-one talks or tells you about cardiomyopathy, then how is anyone ever going to look out for the signs and symptoms and diagnose you correctly? A question that Chris Morley, a Cardiomyopathy UK supporter, diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 2016, is aiming to help answer.

Chris' story

He had always felt something wasn't quite right, even from being a teenager he had felt chest pains, especially if laying still or inactive for a while. However, not knowing his birth family, having no family history to share and not telling anyone what he was feeling this just became the norm for Chris.
He has always been into his running from an early age, regularly running 20-30 miles a week and even running marathons and ultra marathons from time to time. Despite feeling like he had been kicked in the chest by a donkey after every run, he still thought he was completely normal. It wasn’t until he was training for an ultra-challenge event that it really hit him. After ending up in A&E in agony following a training run, but being sent home with "pectoral muscle strain" he felt as though he had wasted everybody's time.
He kept training and pushing himself, until he ended up in hospital with a heart rate of 28 bpm which was dropping rapidly. After being given as much atropine as possible with no affect, the nurses and doctors began the process of defibrillating Chris so that he returned to a sinus rhythm and his heart could have a break.  Still not receiving a confirmed diagnosis he then spent several weeks in hospital in terrible pain, until finally one cardiologist looked beyond the running and fitness and finally diagnosed him with apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Chris now has a pacemaker and a modified lifestyle. Modified in as much as he is not letting cardiomyopathy and heart related problems define him, or restrict his life. It is clear that Chris will be forever someone who looks for the next challenge and pushes himself to achieve things, it is just that the goal posts have moved slightly and things have had to been moderated slightly.

The challenge

His cardiologists told Chris "nothing too far or too fast" so he came up with the idea of completing a 5K run every day for 365 days in 2017. He wants to do more than just run around his local park and is really passionate about getting the knowledge out there.
Chris's message to those reading this: 'I know there are many out there, whose symptoms and cardiomyopathy are much worse than mine and struggle with everyday life. To those people I say - keep going, please take strength in the fact that many people, me included, think you’re amazing.'
He is looking for as many people as possible to get involved alongside him for this year long challenge. So if you would like to join Chris for one of his runs (don't worry go at your own pace), watch his videos, photos and see the list of runs, please visit his Facebook page below. 

On Saturday 13 May come and meet Chris, and others from Cardiomyopathy UK at the London Eye for a 10:30am group 5K loop to help support and raise awareness.