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.
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 ;-)
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
Lean, mean, same haircut.
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!)
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!
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
Donna and Chantelle braving the cold to see me finish
In the pub with new mates and the littlun
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.
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?
Suspension bridge has gone on hols.
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.
If you'd like to sponsor me you can do below!
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!