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2016

Biomechanics analysis for terminal diagnosis runner

15 December 2016

A runner who was given three months to live more than a year ago has received a cutting edge biomechanics analysis at Abertay ahead of an incredible marathon attempt.

Eric Hamilton from Dundee will take on the London Marathon next year despite doctors diagnosing him with incurable lung cancer last spring.

The 60-year-old featured in a BBC documentary for Maggie’s Centres earlier this year after a combination of running and the new drug Afatnib appeared to have a remarkable effect on prolonging his life.

A team of experts from Abertay conducted a gait analysis session and physical testing on Tuesday in preparation for Eric’s latest challenge.

Eric said, ‘I’ve had some problems with shin splints and I also wanted to lose a few more pounds before the race so I got in contact with the guys at Abertay for some help.

‘I’m hoping they can sort out my running gait and advise me how I should be running.

‘I’ve not run a marathon for 25 years but I used to do a lot of running in the late 80s and early 90s.’

Sport and Exercise Science lecturer Dr Ashley Richardson, who conducted the analysis, said the results should help Eric optimise his training for the marathon.

He added, ‘Efficiency of movement is fundamental when preparing for long distance runs such as a marathon. What Eric and other runners alike need is maximal linear translation using the minimal amount of energy.

‘An abnormal inefficient running gait may also increase the risk of injury.

‘Completing observational gait analysis can help Eric correct his biomechanics to one that is safer and more economical.

‘This will allow for an improved performance running time and minimise the risk of running injuries.’

Scans have shown that the Afatnib is stopping Eric’s tumour from growing, however he doesn’t know how long it will keep him alive.

Eric is a member of the Maggie’s Centre’s support group in Dundee, meeting around 20 others once a month.

He is the only person in Tayside who has been matched with Afatnib.

After his diagnosis he took up running, joined a mindfulness course, learned about cooking and healthy eating, and worked out with a personal trainer.

For more information, email g.bletcher@abertay.ac.uk or call 01382 308142.

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