For main website please visit:

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.


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.


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.


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.


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