Asthmatic Wellington man runs half-marathon every week for 21 weeks to raise awareness

Running a half-marathon as an asthmatic may sound daunting, but a Wellington man is out to prove the condition is no barrier.

In fact, he's run 21 kilometres every week for 21 weeks to show others living with the respiratory disease that anything's possible.

Crossing the finish line never felt so good or tasted so sweet. For 21 weeks Shane Ross has run a half-marathon every weekend to raise awareness for asthma.

"It's actually surprisingly emotional, didn't imagine bursting into tears on the way down, but it's been three months, three good months," he says.

Diagnosed with the respiratory disease when he was a toddler, he says it put him in hospital four times a year as a kid and meant missing out on playing sport.

So he wants people to know with the right treatment, asthma doesn't mean you have to say no.

"Asthma's not a barrier, you can do this sort of thing. More importantly for parents, your kids can do this sort of thing as well."

Ross is one of the more than 700,000 Kiwis living with asthma or a respiratory illness. Those numbers mean Aotearoa has the second-highest rate of the condition in the world.

"We have one in seven children and one in eight adults living with asthma, and we actually have around 77 people a year die of asthma," Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ CEO Letitia Harding says.

And for the past two years, COVID's added another stress.

"If you are asthmatic make sure you take your inhaler- so important with Omicron at the moment," Harding says.

The message is to keep safe but also don't let asthma stop you from doing what you love.