Asthmatic Stoke Newington dragon breathes fire into pupils’ bellies

Stoke Newington primary pupils were terrified to find out that one of their teachers had turned into ‘Puff the Magic Asthma Dragon’ last week.

Katie Richardson, assistant head teacher at Jubilee Primary School in Filey Avenue pulled off the stunt to promote her taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in Hyde Park on Sunday, to raise money for charity Asthma UK.

Katie, who has exercise-induced asthma, ran the entire 13 miles wearing the heavy lime green suit.

To train for the huge challenge, the 26-year old went on long runs carrying weights and wearing jumpers, to make sure she could stand the heat on the day.

Endurance sports, including long-distance running, are most likely to cause problems for people with exercise-induced asthma.

Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing.

“I’m still alive, but it was hard,” she said.

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“I just took the puffer before then ran, and then it was okay - but it has been something that has stopped me in the past, so I feel lucky.”

She puts her better physical condition down to having been to the asthma nurse and seeking advice rather than just trying to carry on, and she also finds that keeping fit helps her not to get as short of breath so often.

Through completing the challenge, she wants to inspire other people with asthma to continue to do the sports that they love.

Every seven hours somebody in the UK dies from asthma and 1.1 million children in the UK currently suffer from it.

So far, Katie has raised �600, to sponsor her go to

For more information about asthma and exercise, visit