A MORFA Bychan athlete has completed the hottest London Marathon on record in memory of his lost school friend.

Dylan Hughes completed the gruelling 26.2 mile slog in blazing conditions last Saturday in four hours and 35 minutes.

He raced in memory of his closest friends Rhydian James who tragically died of cardiomyopathy at the age of 31, leading to Dylan raising money for Cardiomyopathy UK to raise money and awareness of the condition.

Cardiomyopathy is a general term for diseases of the heart muscle, where the walls of the heart chambers have become stretched, thickened or stiff.

By running the London Marathon and conducting various fund-raising events – including a successful auction night – the 34-year-old runner has raised well over £3,000 for the heart disease charity.

This is on top of the £1,000 he raised in Rhydian’s memory by completing a triathlon in 2016, the same year Rhydian passed.

He had intended to run the Marathon in the UK capital last year but had to withdraw after tearing his calf muscles.

Explaining his reasons for supporting Cardiomyopathy UK, Dylan explained: “Myself and Rhydian attended Ysgol Bontnewydd together before going on to Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen in Caernarfon in 1995.

“Later in our time at school he had a wheelchair for school and I would take him around the lessons, even though we did crash once on a hill in the yard.

“Rhydian has a fantastic sense of humour, and we would regularly wind each other up.

“He was an inspiration then, and will always continue to be, battling through his illness to achieve so much and inspire so many.

“It was an honour that his parents agreed for me to represent Cardiomyopathy UK in his memory.”

Although inspired by his friend’s lust for life before his passing, the challenge that Dylan faced was still formidable.

He explained: “The temperature on race day made it much tougher, especially considering that the weather so far this year had been so cold.

“One of the lows was getting to mile 23 and the legs starting to feel like they were going to give up, I had to dig deep and take a lot of inspiration from the crowd to keep them going.

“But to be honest the whole experience was a high, and an unbelievable and inspiring experience.”

For more information or to sponsor Dylan, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dylan-hughes6

Dylan is now completing a further 3.7 mile run to celebrate the life of Matt Campbell, 29, who passed away whilst attempting to complete the London Marathon.

A fund-raiser in Matt’s memory can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattcampbell-londonmarathon