I'm attempting to run a marathon in every country in the EU (28 in total) raising awareness and funds for Invest In ME (www.investinme.org) a leading ME research charity.
I've now completed 18 of my marathons! UK, Czech Rep, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Sweden, Poland, Belgium, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovenia, Malta, Austria, Denmark and Estonia!
I will be running the 19th of my 28 Marathons in Sofia, Bulgaria on Oct 14th 2018.
For more information & training progress please visit: www.mikeseumarathons.eu
I'm on facebook (www.facebook.com/mikeseumarathons) and twitter (@mikesEUmaras).
I'm not a natural runner, I'm short with a love for cider and steak. I have a partially torn knee cruciate and in 2009 was told that I shouldn't run again. I started the challenge in Jan 2015 at which point I couldn't run to the end of my road without stopping. I now train 11 months out of 12 per year and clock up around 1000 miles per year, wearing out 4 pairs of trainers.
#19 Sofia, Bulgaria (Oct 2018)
#20 Paphos, Cyprus (March 2019)
#21 Bratislava, Slovakia (April 2019)
#22 Budapest, Hungary (Oct 2019)
#23 Bucharest, Romania (Oct 2019)
#24 Porto, Portugal (Nov 2019)
#25 Rome, Italy (April 2020)
#26 Riga, Latvia (May 2020)
#27 Berlin, Germany (Sept 2020)
#28 Zagreb, Croatia (Oct 2020)
#29 Bristol, UK (Oct 2020)
I'll be working closely with ME associations, charities, support groups, marathon organisers and media to raise awareness for the need for biomedical research in each country that I visit.
Over 250,000 people in the UK suffer with the ME and that includes 25,000 children as well as one of my good friends who has suffered for almost 10 years with the illness. Watching him drift from year to year without improvement is extremely hard to watch, I want to try to do something to stop this. He's not depressed or making it up, he's one of the most popular and positive people I know. He's ill.
Invest In ME (www.investinme.org) are committed to raising funds and awareness to find the cause and cure and are a voluntarily run organisation doing some amazing work. They're the only organisation really making progress in working with scientists and researchers to find cures and treatments. They will be opening a specialist centre of excellence for ME in 2018 where patients can get diagnosis and treatment and have even crowd-funded enough to hold their own clinical trials to find a cure/treatments. They are also funding the PhD's of students investigating the cause and possible treatments of the disease.
ME is an indiscriminating illness with no set recovery time or guarantee of recovery. It is the most common reason for school absence amongst children in the UK. Symptoms include severe pain, fatigue, sickness and cognitive dysfunction and many more. A huge number of people I've met are house bound, tube-fed, bed bound and worse. Little if nothing has been done to help people with ME for decades, we need to help patients now. Current treatments prescribed by GP's (as a result of the disastrous tax payer funded PACE trial) include CBT and exercise therapy which are proven to make patients much worse. If you know someone with ME -donating to Invest In ME is how you can help them get better, we need research and we need it now.
Thanks for your support!