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Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Friday, 7 January 2011
Bath half-marathon for man recovering from heart op

Bath half-marathon 2010
Thousands of runners took to the streets for the 2010 Bath half-marathon

A man from Peasdown has begun training for the Bath half-marathon despite recently undergoing open heart surgery.

Chris Stilman, who turns 60 in March, was diagnosed in June 2010 with a life-threatening heart condition.

Two months later he underwent open heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Despite the pain and discomfort that the condition caused, Chris actually admits that he feels a lot fitter since the operation.

"I was told it would take quite a long time to get over it," he said.

"But for me, it's really like going back 20 or 30 years in terms of fitness. I'm absolutely amazed.

"They say that 60 is the new 50 but I feel about 40, or even younger, to be honest".

General check-up

During the operation, Chris had to have a valve replaced and he said that it was a general check-up with his doctor that spotted the problem in the first place.

"I must admit that I didn't know anything was wrong with me really, apart from a very minor shortness of breath on steep hills," he said.

"I thought 'I'm coming up to 60 I'll just ask for a general check-up'.

"Not realising there was anything wrong with me and the doctor just picked up some turbulence around my heart and it led on from there".

Chris, who never used to run before, trains about three times a week and now wants to inspire people to carry on after a major operation.

"I always thought a run was a waste of a good walk," he admitted.

"I avoided it like the plague, especially cross country at school".

Chris is raising money for the Golden Oldies charity, the chosen local charity of the Bath half-marathon.

Bath-based Golden Oldies is a music project which gives older people the chance to get together as part of an informal choir.

The 2011 Bath Half, which is now in its 30th year, takes place on 6 March.

It is one of the longest established and most popular city centre road events in the UK.




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