Waringstown man completes Belfast Half-Marathon after arthritis diagnosis

Chris Thompson, 36, from Waringstown, completed the Belfast Half-Marathon on Sunday in 1:45. (Pic: Contributed).
Chris Thompson, 36, from Waringstown, completed the Belfast Half-Marathon on Sunday in 1:45. (Pic: Contributed).

Chris Thompson completed the race on Sunday, following a two-year break from running after his diagnosis.

Following a diagnosis that is unusual for someone in their 30s, Chris, who works for global aid and development charity Tearfund, did not know when he would be able to resume running.

He explained: “I even enjoyed training four times a week. Not being able to run over the last couple of years following my diagnosis, I’m thankful for the impact of medication and training that has allowed me to keep going now.”

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Currently working as Tearfund’s NI Acting Director, Mr Thompson added: “I’m running for Tearfund because I’ve seen firsthand that the work the charity does makes a tangible difference in some of the most challenging places in the world. Every pound raised or donated is spent responsibly to go as far as it can.

“As a Christian, there is a connection between what I believe about God and how I view my responsibility in the world: I want to use what I have to bring hope to my global neighbours.”

Tearfund works in the world’s 50 most vulnerable countries. Chris recently visited its work in Chad, which is one of poorest countries in the world: one in five children living there dies of things like malnutrition and disease.

He stated: “It was humbling to visit the communities that Tearfund is working in in Chad. I met people whose lives had been completely transformed thanks to the support of people around the world.”

An independent report released earlier this year demonstrated that every £1 invested by Tearfund in the CCT (Church and Community Transformation) process yielded up to £28 of ‘social value’, or local community benefit.

This means that through resourcing leaders and churches who share the vision and empowering them to support their communities.

Chris has raised over £600 so far.

He said: “Everyone is feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis, coming after the global pandemic. I’m so grateful to those who have sponsored my run: every penny raised will go towards supporting more people like Edward around the world.”

To make a donation in support of Tearfund’s work, click here