EU

EU
For main website please visit: www.mikeseumarathons.eu

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Nov/Dec/Jan Update

Wow, what a 3 months it's been in my little world.  After finishing 2018's 5 marathons (Malta, Vienna, Copenhagen, Tallinn and Sofia), we were delighted to welcome a new member to the team, baby Lucy Rose Harley!

            

Cat did an incredible job in just 3 hours of labour.  We had a few days in hospital before bringing her home.  We've now got her passport ready and she'll be coming to 4 of the 6 international races this year!

Autumn Marathons 2019

After much research, debate and frantic calculations I've picked and entered 3 more races for 2019.


Ambitious, crazy, expensive.

3 marathons in 5 weeks!

I'll be travelling to Hungary for the first time to run in Budapest with Cat and Lucy, followed by Romania with fellow M.E marathon addict Ben Scott.  Cat and Lucy will then come out with me to Portugal for Porto Marathon in early November!

The Beginning Of The End

This leaves me with (unbelievably) just 4 to go; Germany, Italy and Croatia followed by a repeat of UK.  I'm repeating London as it feels the only proper way to round off the challenge and gain maximum press exposure for Invest In ME and their biomedical research projects.


UK not gone yet ;-)

Well aware that we could be out of the EU by then but still hoping that there will be interest and that I can blag my way into the race, avoiding the dreaded ballot system.  Ending out in Croatia just doesn't feel right and whether I decide to hang up my trainers for good or move on to more running challenges, it does feel exciting to run on home soil to finish it all off.

London 2001!

As I've mentioned before, when I was 18 I ran the London Marathon.  This would be my first ever marathon and also my last until the age of 31.  I remember running before college every other morning in the dark past the graveyard between Rumford and Penrose in North Cornwall and the long runs to Porthcothan and beyond.  All with a cassette walkman in my pocket and bottles of water stashed in hedges.

  

Never again said 18 year old Harley

Back then I ran for the Air Ambulance and appealed for some help with costs (trainers, coach fair to London etc) with no luck.  Not much has changed there!  I found a cutting from the local paper amongst some old school reports....



Lean, mean, same haircut.

4 Years Of Running

January 2019 marked 4 years since I started this challenge and could once again run further than the end of my street.  I've now run over 4000 miles for Invest In ME raising £15000 in the process and remain as determined as ever to make some sort of difference to the perception and treatment of ME.  To say it's been an incredible experience so far is a massive understatement, so many great memories, friends made, pain barriers hit etc.  When I came up with this crazy idea I really wasn't sure I'd get this far.

18 EU marathons in 4 years (all pretty hot!)

I'm not sure that I'm improving significantly with each race.  A lot depends on temperature, training and diet but I am pleased to say that after 126 miles of training in January (compared to an injury hit 67 last January) I appear to be in pretty good shape.  I've got 9 races left (counting London) and £11K to raise to hit target, I'll also aim to beat that elusive 3 hrs 55 mins of Vilnius, Lithuania in Sept 2017.

Gloucester Half Press

After the Gloucestershite ME/CFS Friendship Group heard about my upcoming Half Marathon race in Quedgeley I got talking to Rachel Ephgrave about her experiences with M.E.  She kindly agreed to tell me her story and I added a section about my challenge which was published by Gloucestershire Live website.


No winter gear for me!

Link to the article:  Gloucestershire Live


Gloucs Half Race

On Sunday 20th January I ran my fastest ever Half Marathon in Gloucestershire (4 mins faster than soggy Bridgwater in 2017) at 1hr 40 mins.  It was a chilly, dry day on a flat course and I started a bit quick and just kept going!  I was convinced I would blow up as I usually do towards the end but I felt good and pushed hard even with a quick stop to say hi to Donna, an ME sufferer who kindly gave me a big bag of jelly babies at mile 1!



Race dedicated to my new Gloucs mates

I really enjoyed the race and despite it's poor organisation at the start, it was marshalled well and came with a decent medal and hot showers.  Chantelle and Donna cheered me home alongside Cat and sleepy Lucy and I was invited to the Gloucestershire ME/CFS Friendship Group anniversary meal which was really great.



Donna and Chantelle braving the cold to see me finish

The race helped me raise over £600 for Invest In ME and I made some more new friends.  I'll definitely be looking to book a couple more half marathons for 2019, perhaps looking towards South Wales and maybe North Devon where I can hopefully connect with more M.E groups and help raise awareness.


In the pub with new mates and the littlun

M.E Debate in the Houses Of Parliament

On Thursday 24th January 2019 over 40 MPs from across the political divide sat in the House of Commons to debate a motion on ME with 27 making impassioned contributions on behalf of their constituents.
Together they unanimously passed this motion:
“That this House calls on the Government to provide increased funding for biomedical research into the diagnosis and treatment of ME, supports the suspension of Graded Exercise Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as means of treatment, supports updated training of GPs and medical professionals to ensure they are equipped with clear guidance on diagnosis of ME and appropriate management advice to reflect international consensus on best practice, and is concerned about the current trends of subjecting ME families to unjustified child protection procedures”.
The debate was encouraging to see and despite the Minister's poor responses it clearly shows a shift in perception of the illness and the final death knell of the disastrous PACE trial.

Amongst many excellent contributions was this passionate speech by Stephen Pound MP:


Passion from Pound, lets hope there's funding and actual change on the way.

Cool Runnings

It is pretty cold out there this winter so far that's fair to say, but you won't hear me complaining.  I've run for 4-5 hours in 31C at Vienna Marathon, 33C at Luxembourg and over 25C in Malta, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Gdansk.  Wherever I go hot weather just appears from nowhere.  I'm thinking warm thoughts and getting my head down!


Next challenge, EU bobsleigh?

My hands take a mile to warm up but after that I'm totally fine, cold weather gives you a fight when you're running and I revel in that.  There's nothing more amusing than a mummified wrapped up runner looking at you in bemusement as you saunter past in t-shirt and shorts in -3C.  I'm not even warming up if I'm honest, never have really apart from some hip stretches ahead of a marathon race.  I just feel like a prima donna doing it, if I start steady then the first 6 miles or so are my warm up, I never feel like I've settled into the run before the first hour is up.


Suspension bridge has gone on hols.

There's ice under-foot at the moment over in Bristol, it could present a problem but I'm lucky to have a mate with a treadmill/dreadmill so if needs must I'll be over at his on the conveyor belt. I've got 6 races this year, if I get one under 20C then I'll be amazed, so for now, the colder it is here the better for me.  I've upped the training to 4 times per week having ran for 9 consecutive days over the Christmas break, I think I'm starting to feel the benefits and my VO2 max is improving gradually.  Hopefully it'll all pay off come March 17th.

Goals For The Next 3 Months

  • ME in Slovakia interview published.
  • Find a Latvian ME patient to interview.
  • 3 x sub 4-hour marathon finishes (Cyprus, Slovakia and Latvia).
  • No significant injuries.
  • Up to £17000 raised for Invest In ME.
  • More press coverage for ME awareness (UK and abroad).
  • Take part/support ME Awareness/Millions Missing on May 12th.

Thanks for your support and for reading.

Mike



If you'd like to sponsor me you can do below!

www.justgiving.com/mikeseumarathons 

Total Sponsorship Raised: £15070
Social Media Followers: 2258
Miles Covered: 275
Average Temp: 8C
Lessons Learned: I can run 4 times a week without injury!

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Aug/Sept/Oct Update

It's been 3 months since my last quarterly update and I've chalked up another 2 marathons and a half marathon along with another £1400 to help Invest In ME with their biomedical research projects.

Sturminster Newton Half

Way back in August I completed a half marathon in North Dorset.  It was a warm day on a mostly flat course which was good Summer training for Tallinn Marathon.


Hot half out in Dorset

I got round in a decent time and although there weren't any medals or t-shirt, it was good to get a little press and more race experience.

Blackmore Vale Press

I worked with my friend Helen Buckland-Luck from Yeovil on an interview piece for a local paper who published a half-page article on M.E and my challenge.


Back in print

The paper gets a wide readership across Somerset and Dorset and they were very happy to support our cause.

JustGiving Twitter

A bit out of the blue, I was tagged into this twitter message which went out to their 122,000 followers!


11 in a month?  Behave!

Thanks to whoever engineered this!

Tallinn Marathon Instagram

I couldn't quite get a spot on their website or Facebook as they had contractual obligations with other charities but Tallinn Marathon were very good and popped the below onto their Instagram.


That flag again

This went out to their 2160 followers and had 70 likes.

Kelly Holmes Twitter

For the second time on the challenge I got a comment from Dame Kelly Holmes!


Kelly's a true inspiration.

Klara Wilson

Ahead of the trip to Tallinn I had some sad news that Klara Wilson had passed away after a short battle with cancer.  Klara had M.E for a long time, she was a great supporter of my challenge and helped me raise awareness for patients in her native Czech Republic when I ran there in 2015.


Klara's sister Marketa, mother, husband and family in Prague.

Prague was my first race of the challenge and I'll always remember meeting Klara's family the day before the race where hearing about her struggle and the situation there really re-inforced my decision to try to help.

Tallinn Marathon

After a really good Summer training plan and smashing through new 5K, 10K, Half marathon, 20m and 22m PB's I arrived in Estonia looking to beat last year's PB in Vilnius (3.55)



Great medal, great race and loved the Estonia football shirt too!

The weather was warm but cloudy and I enjoyed the variety on the course.  I couldn't quite get to PB on this one having gone off too quick again and hitting a big wall at 18 miles.  Nevertheless it was a really good trip and a fabulous little city.  You can read about it further here.

Baby

So pretty big news!  In October I announced that Cat and I will be expecting a baby daughter at the end of the month.



I'll aim (money permitting) to bring her with us on the remaining marathon trips.  Hopefully I'll still be able to get out and get the training runs done though I expect it's going to be a big challenge finding the energy on limited sleep but hopefully will work out. 

The major change to the marathons is the additional cost of checking bags and our extra passenger which will push the trips up another £200 each marathon. We'll need to be getting her a passport ASAP as I have flights to book for Latvia and the other 3 after that before the seats get too expensive.  I'll also potentially need to stay abroad for a day longer on each trip so there's costs and considerations there too.  Out of 9 remaining I'm sure there'll be at least one where the baby will be too ill to fly so we're going to have to roll with the punches a fair bit.

Anyway, will do my best to keep to the schedule and get the challenge done!  Fair to say there'll be some pics to show in my next update!

Karina Hansen

I've been following Karina's story since 2014 when I got involved with fundraising for M.E research.  Some background below:

Karina Hansen is a young woman living in Denmark who was was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) as a teenager in 2008. She was cared for by her parents in their home using treatment that she chose. After attempting graded exercise and becoming worse, Karina and her parents chose to follow the advice of an ME expert. However, a psychiatrist that had become involved in her case chose to disagree with Karina’s own decision.
At the age of 24, Karina was forcibly removed from her home in Feb. 2013 by a team of police officers, social workers, and medical professionals. She was taken to Hammel Neurocenter and placed under the treatment of Nils Balle Christensen and Per Fink as a de facto psychiatric patient. Her family were not permitted to visit her. After three-and-a-half years of forced institutionalized, Karina finally came home in October of 2016 much worse than when she was taken from her home. 


In early October news came out that she was no longer under state guardianship.  Whilst this is undoubtedly good news, it's a scary thought that there could be many others across Denmark and other parts of Europe who could face the same fate that we're not aware of.

Sofia

Mid October and I managed to run my fastest marathon of the year out in Bulgaria!  On their 4 lap city centre course, I got round without any real problems thanks to Mike Ward for being an able substitute for Cat who was too pregnant to fly out this time.



Another one done!  Not sure what the lady to my right is doing; the race is over!

For full race report and pics you can click here!

Cochrane Review

It was great to see last week that Cochrane (a leading scientific journal) has decided to temporarily remove the PACE trial recommendations for CBT and GET treatment of ME patients.  Unfortunately a heavily biased and poorly researched article from Reuters delivered the news and gives unfounded opinion that scientists have been subject to harassment over the trial rather than them actually read the criticism outlined on the disastrous trial.


But this is a victory for the scientists, academics and patients who have worked hard to show how flawed the trial has been and how dangerous it's legacy of recommended treatments continue to be.

You can read more here.

2019 Plans

Now I've finished my running season for 2019, I'll be taking a couple of weeks off and then getting back to it ready for Cyprus in March.


Eek

Beyond that I've chosen to try to complete 6 races next year.  I want to take advantage of infants (0-2 for most airlines) flying for a discounted rate and Cat's maternity leave.  Also with 3 races at either end of the year, with at least a fortnight break between races it should be possible.

I wanted to try for Berlin but unfortunately it appears to be the same day as Budapest, which I need to do as if it reverts to the 2nd week of October in 2020 then I could have find myself having to be there and in Zagreb on the same day! 

Hopefully Brexit won't hurt my challenge too hard and the planes will be allowed to land!

Thanks for your support and for reading.

Mike



If you'd like to sponsor me you can do so below!


www.justgiving.com/mikeseumarathons or text 'IIME82' and £1, £3, £5 to 70070

Total Sponsorship Raised: £14430
Social Media Followers: 2209
Miles Covered: 223
Average Temp: 22C
Lessons Learned: Run more! Plenty of PB's just not the marathon one sadly.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

May/Jun/July Update


Another hot one

Summertime!  I've had a busy 3 months, conquering another country (#17 Denmark) and another Half Marathon (Yeovil, Somerset) so here's a quick review....

ME in Denmark

Ahead of the trip to Denmark I interviewed Rebecca Hansen from the Danish ME Association and also patient Kamilla Thomsen who told me more about M.E. there.

Interviews in English and Danish here (thanks to Helle Rasmussen for organising translations).

Bristol Cable




Lorna Stephenson interviewing me in my local pub

In May I met Lorna from the Bristol Cable paper who was keen to feature my challenge and help further raise awareness for ME.  Lorna has written about M.E before and the PACE trial farce and it's great to have such strong local support.  The full piece she wrote isn't online yet but you can read it below...



AOK 



Thanks to Helle for securing some great press coverage on the AOK website ahead of the Copenhagen race.

http://www.aok.dk/byliv/millionsmissing-moed-marathon-mike

MillionsMissing video

I was keen to support the Danish ME Association and the Copenhagen demo on May 12th to raise awareness for people with M.E.

I recorded a message of support to the people of Denmark urging them to do whatever they can to help push for biomedical research and a change in perception.

Video message here

MM Copenhagen

We flew out on May 12th to Copenhagen and were really pleased to be able to be a part of the protest by the Black Diamond.


Honoured to be part of the demo and meet so many nice people.

I had some really nice messages of support for the race and it was great to take a boat trip and visit the Little Mermaid.

Copenhagen Marathon - Denmark race report



Last few moments of a tough but beautiful race

Copenhagen Marathon was warm with a light breeze, I enjoyed the course, in particular running with fellow EU marathon collector Tim Teege.  I struggled a bit after the halfway point, mainly as it had only been 3 weeks since the race in Vienna but I was delighted to finish in just under 4 hrs 30.  Full race report here.

Euromast Rotterdam


Cool huh?

I was really bowled over to have the Euromast in Rotterdam lit up on ME Awareness Day (May 12th) in my honour and in dedication to the amazing work that Invest In ME are doing.  Thanks to Celine and the Dutch Millions Missing team for this!

Vienna Marathon post

Really kind of Vienna Marathon to put up a post about my challenge a few weeks after the race, they were also kind enough to post a number of messages on Facebook which had over 100 shares.  Top stuff, much appreciated.


Ah, Vienna.

Playa De La Concha - San Sebastian

Had a long weekend break in San Sebastian in early June to re-charge the batteries.  Fantastic to eat pinxtos and wander around Bilbao and San Sebastian for a few days without a race to run.




Breathtaking morning run in Spain

Enjoyed a really great run on the amazing beach there and around the old town, always like to get a run done when I go abroad as you know!


Invest in ME Conference

On May 31st I was very lucky to be asked to attend the 13th Invest In ME Conference in London for the second time.  It was great to hear from so many amazing scientists and researchers as well as meeting up with friends that I've made across Europe.


Helen Oliver, a fantastic fundraiser herself

Although the process is painstakingly slow when it comes to good science, the week of presentations and colloquiums continue to give hope that a biomarker and successful treatment can be found.  All I can do is keep going, raise a bit of money and awareness on my way around this challenge.

Heron Half Marathon

On June 10th I ran the RNAS Yeovilton (Heron Half) raising over £200 for Invest In ME and posting my second fastest time on what was a mostly flat and cool race (nice change!)




Helen Buckland-Luck who has been a great supporter since 2014 and my first challenge

50% of Target

Mid June saw me hit the halfway point in my target to raise £26.2K for Invest In ME research projects.  A huge boost, only 11 races left but I'm optimistic I can get close by the time the challenge ends in October 2020.  




Thanks to all 482 of you!

Westminster Hall Debate 

On the 21st of June, ME was finally given a decent amount of time for discussion at Parliament.  A cross-party group of MP's came together in agreement that more biomedical research needs to take place to help patients in the UK.


Led by Carol Monaghan MP the 3 hour long debate drew a lot of attention

Hopefully there will be follow up sessions in the chamber but this felt like a good start with some passionate speeches on behalf of constituents and their families who continue to be neglected and struggle.


Steady Improvement

As of early July, despite the heat I've been posting some really improvements in my short and long run times.  For a good couple of weeks I was scratching my head as to why but having looked through the monthly mileage I discovered that it was merely down to running more miles per month.  Not exactly rocket science but running more means that you get better at running, who would have thought it.



Still a bit of room there

June was tricky to fit in the runs with the World Cup on and so many evening trips to the pub to watch England progress further than expected.  But July has been really positive as I've been injury free and although having to stop a little more to get water/not hallucinate in the heat, it feels like I'm doing some of my best running.  New PB's for 5K, 6m, 7m, 16m, 18m have given me renewed confidence that despite being 35 that I can keep improving as the challenge continues.

Hopefully keeping an eye on diet, more hot weather running and a big August will mean that I turn up in Estonia in good shape to have a go at my 3.55 PB from Lithuania last September.  That and another £2-3K by the end of the year on top of the total will make it a pretty satisfactory year.  It's been an eventful and profitable year for raising awareness with terrific support from Malta, Austria and Denmark.  I know I won't be expecting anything from Estonia and Bulgaria but I'd like to post some times to be proud of to round off the year.

Upcoming Plans

Next up for me race-wise over the next 3 months will be the Sturminster Half (Aug 5th) in Dorset followed by Tallinn Marathon, Estonia (Sept 9th) which will be number 18 of 28.  The race will take place on Estonia's 100th birthday so it's sure to be an amazing atmosphere!  Then it's on to Sofia for the last race of the year on October 14th.







From North Dorset to Estonia to Bulgaria!

Very keen to hear from any M.E patients who would like to tell me their story from either Estonia or Bulgaria -please do get in touch.

Thanks for your support and for reading.


Mike



If you'd like to sponsor me you can do so below!


www.justgiving.com/mikeseumarathons or text 'IIME82' and £1, £3, £5 to 70070

Total Sponsorship Raised: £13150
Social Media Followers: 2146
Miles Covered: 297
Average Temp: 22C
Lessons Learned: The importance of rest and consistency

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Feb/Mar/Apr Update

May has arrived and the challenge is now 3 years old!  I've run 2 more marathons and 1 half-marathon since my last post adding an additional £1600 for Invest In ME.

Here's a quick re-cap on how things have gone......

Malta Marathon (No.15 of 28)

On Feb 25th I ran my 15th EU Marathon starting in Mdina in the Maltese countryside and finishing at the coast in Sliema.


                    
         Flying the flag in sunny Malta!                                                                 Ben, Jay and I with our medals

It was a tough race with a very early start with the temperature hotting up from 14 to 23c by the end.  I got round safely despite a really bad cold and two bad calves.  Full race report here.

Belfast

I can't tell you how cold it was here

A couple of weeks later I flew over to spend St Patrick's Day in Belfast with my buddy and fellow Invest In ME marathon fundraiser Ben Scott.  After taking on a lot of Guinness we went for a bit of a run as part of the East Antrim Marathon Series, both earning ourselves a fantastic giant bottle opener medal for running the minimum required distance of about 4 miles!  

We had a beer on the way round in bitterly cold conditions and stopped to cheer the proper runners under a bridge, joyously finishing joint-last!  This was the weekend when it snowed loads over in England, we got stranded in Belfast for another night.  Not a major problem as there were plenty of pubs to shelter in!

Devizes Half Marathon


Cheeky Half

Getting back to proper training for Vienna, I told my Facebook page that I'd run Devizes if they could help me round up my sponsorship total to the nearest hundred.  They duly obliged and I entered the hilly, chilly Devizes Half.  It was a well organised and supported course which I really enjoyed, lots of uphill but equally some really fun downhill and I was pleased to come away with my 2nd fastest Half time of 1hr 49 mins.

After the race I met with Roger and Michelle Bourlet from Devizes and their family.  They very kindly let me use their shower and fed me delicious cake.  I heard more about their daughter Maddie who is bedbound with ME and I got to pop my head in to say hi.  It was really shocking seeing and hearing how the illness had affected her and I really hope she improves soon and wish the family well.


Bourlet family

Roger and Michelle very kindly donated £500 to Invest In ME's biomedical research projects and I was pleased to hear that Michelle would be at their conference in June, hopefully we'll meet up.  

Danish ME Magazine


Big in Denmark!


Some nice coverage in Denmark ahead of my trip there in May for number 17.  Thanks to Helle Rasmussen and the Danish ME Association for the interview and 2 page spread in their monthly magazine.  I'm working closely with them to see if we can take advantage of the May 12th ME Awareness Day and get some exposure for their work in Denmark and highlight the necessity for biomedical research.

ME in Austria

I spoke to Sebastian, Barbara and Sonja who are 3 people with ME living in Austria.  Click here to see what they had to tell me.


Back in beautiful (and crazy hot) Vienna


It's clear that like much of Europe, there's a real lack of knowledge and understanding about M.E. in Austria.  More stories of patients being misdiagnosed, told there's nothing wrong with them and being denied basic human rights.  But at least the new Facebook group CFS Hilfe is uniting people and starting to make waves over there.  I wish them the best of luck as they've been really supportive to my challenge.

Pendine Sands

Over Easter we went to Pembrokeshire and I decided to get in some beach running on the 7 mile long Pendine Sands.  Pendine is the stretch of beach where Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record (146 mph in 1924), it was great to be running in his tyre tracks.  I got 11 miles done, having to turn round when the sand got very deep and the tide started coming in!


On your marks. Won my 1 man race


We stayed at Pendine Sands B&B who very generous and sponsored me as well as posting on their Facebook page about the challenge.  It then occurred to me that I need to leave more of my 'business cards' where I stay and meet new people in order to get more donations and publicity for ME research.


Wiltshire Gazette

I got a little bit of press in the Wiltshire Gazette just before (and after!) Devizes Half.  No picture and they were a bit abrupt but hopefully someone saw it and maybe changed their mind about M.E.

Mr Harley indeed

I also had a nice 'retweet' from the organisers of the half marathon and BBC Radio Wiltshire got in touch for an interview, then went quiet on me -something I've become a bit used to on the challenge at times.

Summer Halfs

After a couple of successful halfs last year and one this year so far, I thought it would be good to keep motivated with a couple more hot, hilly halfs until Estonia in September.



Heron is the nickname of RNAS Yeovilton and I'll be running the half marathon there on June 10th.  It looks like a decent race and there's showers and a bbq happening afterwards so hopefully will be fun.  As ever I'll try to reach out to local papers and see if we can get some more donations in.


Sturminster Half in Dorset on Sunday August 5th is a nice little half in the countryside and should be a good challenge.  Looks like it's organised by a friendly running club and it's got good reviews so more than happy to give it a go for the first time too.


Half thoughts 

Before last year, I was quite indifferent to running Half Marathons as part of my marathon training.  I didn't really see the point of paying c£50 to run them when I was already running further around the streets and cycle paths near my house.  I ran Bath Half a couple of times before I started the challenge and both experiences left me a bit cold really.  They were large, over-subscribed and poorly organised races that were expensive and frustrating.



But I've had a bit of a change of heart more recently.  I ran Frome Half and Bridgwater Half last year and felt good about them.  I was able to meet supporters and patients, post some decent times and take advantage of challenging conditions (Frome; hilly.  Bridgwater; torrential rain) which could have only been positive for my training.  

Some positives that I've found which have driven me to book some more....

  • The smaller half marathons are fairly local (within 1 hr commute) and cost around £15-25 which isn't too bad.  
  • I only run my marathons abroad so this is a great chance to meet people who have supported me.
  • I usually am able to get a bit of local media press for Invest In ME and raise awareness for people with ME.  I've had sponsorship from new people as a result which has boosted the total.
  • Most are very well organised and often have showers there too.
  • I get a nice Sunday pub lunch afterwards.

I've got a new shirt to wear at the halfs.  Carefully designed so that those running behind me can educate themselves on M.E.

                      

From a training point of view, 13 miles might not be as far as say a 17 mile run that I have on the plan but in a race situation I will inevitably work to a higher intensity which again is good training.  Also as I always seem to struggle at the end of marathons, it feels good to finish a half marathon, it's more my kind of distance and I can drive for wet weather/flat/hilly/hot PB's.


Vienna Marathon (No.16 of 28)

Another Spring marathon and yep, another one at 30C.  Not at all what I was expecting but I got through it in one piece.  My second slowest time so far but it was an impressive course with some fantastic views of the Danube and stunning architecture.


Steamy beer/medal combo
                                                                                                                                                                                             Cool carpet

My race report for Vienna can be read here


Cyprus


Looking good Cyprus

My first race of 2019 and number 21 of 29 will be Cyprus Marathon in Paphos on March 17th.  I had the choice of Cyprus or Limassol marathons on the island but chose the former as the airport transfer was easy and the course was more historic and not just all coastal.  

I know I can expect a warm race there but I've got a bit longer to train over the Christmas break so hopefully will have enough time to train well and give it a good go.  It'll be my first trip to Cyprus and I'll be aiming to spend more than just 36 hours there as I've had to recently with the trips.


Plans for Copenhagen




As I type, Copenhagen (number 17) and International ME Awareness Day is just over a week away!  I fly in the day before and I hope to meet meet up with any patients who are well enough and if possible any local media who might be interested in the challenge.  I'm working on approaches to the press in collaboration with the Danish ME Association.  Also Copenhagen Marathon have also asked for more information which is great.  This weekend I will be recording a message in support of people with ME in Denmark to be shared on online for May 12th.

Hopefully we'll be able to do a quick boat trip and see a little of Copenhagen before I make the start line on Sunday morning.

So all in all a very busy, challenging but fully worthwhile 3 months!

Thanks for your support and for reading.

Mike


If you'd like to sponsor me you can do so below!

www.justgiving.com/mikeseumarathons or text 'IIME82' and £1, £3, £5 to 70070

Total Sponsorship Raised: £11705
Social Media Followers: 1993
Miles Covered: 218
Average Temp: 14C
Lessons Learned: Mike hates running in heat still