Friends to run in memory of Lee

A MARATHON EFFORT: Ashley Watts and John Hamblin are put through their paces ahead of their Sudbury marathon.

A MARATHON EFFORT: Ashley Watts and John Hamblin are put through their paces ahead of their Sudbury marathon.

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THE friends of a 21-year-old Sudbury man, who died after a four-year battle with cancer, are preparing to complete the challenge of their lives in his memory.

Ashley Watts and John Hamblin, both 27, went to school with Lee Dunford, whose life was cut short by Hodgkin’s disease in 2006.

Since his death, a number of Lee’s friends have helped to organise and run the LeeStock festival in honour of the music lover.

It has raised around £30,000 for The Willow Foundation – a charity which supports seriously ill young adults between 16 and 40 years old.

Although the duo, who both live in Sudbury, have played an integral part in the event, which is now in its fifth year, they are going one step further this year by running 26.2 miles around Sudbury on Sunday, May 6.

“In the past, I have had a Jedward tattoo and eaten bugs and insects for the festival, but we wanted to do something that would surprise people and nobody expected us to be doing a marathon,” said Ashley.

The pair have been in training since September and believe they are ready to take on a route from Ballingdon to the Black Lion in Long Melford and back three times, despite being running novices.

“As we are not really built for running, we have been getting a lot of help with injuries from Sudbury Physiotherapy Centre, while Mwah gym is letting us train there,” said John.

“We have never done anything like this before, apart from cross county at school and Sunday league football, but we should be up for the challenge.”

LeeStock takes place on June 3 at AFC Sudbury’s MEL Group stadium.

To sponsor Ashley and John, visit www.justgiving.co./run4leestock.