A RUNNER is overcoming adversity to complete more than 350 miles in two years to raise money and awareness for a charity.
Jeff Finnie (52, pictured), formerly of Thurcroft, decided in 2018 to run a series of half-marathons to raise £2,020 for The IBS Network, a charity based in Sheffield which
The former Wales Comprehensive pupil took up running as a hobby five years ago but a short while later he was diagnosed with the chronic digestive condition, irritable bowel syndrome.
But he did not let his condition deter him and, after making changes to his diet, he continued the hobby he enjoyed.
His charity challenge grew and he is now attempting to complete 22 half-marathons and three marathons in 22 months — culminating in the famous New York Marathon in November 2020.
He completed his first full marathon last month (December) in Valencia, Spain, in a time of 4 hours, 26 minutes and 34 seconds.
His efforts have so far raised £1,245 and an immeasurable amount of increased awareness for The IBS Network.
Jeff, who moved from Thurcroft to Swindon three years ago, said he took up running as a hobby after his dog died.
He had been walking his dog three or four times a day and replaced this exercise by running to work.
Jeff has completed races in Philadelphia, Lisbon and London since he took on his epic challenge.
And he will be returning to his native South Yorkshire in March when he takes on the Sheffield Half-marathon — his 15th over that distance.
“There’s no one cure for IBS and everyone has different symptoms,” he said.
“I have a very restrictive diet because of it.”
Jeff said he ate a strict diet of three meals a day — cereal, bagels or porridge for breakfast and a stir fry with rice, noodles, vegetables and lean meat for lunch or dinner.
He has to avoid dairy products and most processed foods.
“Running with IBS isn’t always an easy thing to do,” he said.
“You never know when any sort of attack is going to happen or in what form.
“The best we can do is go with the flow, if you’ve already made your mind up to go for a run then that’s half the battle won.
“The battles in your head can be far harder than the battle out there on your run.”
Jeff said sometimes he felt like he did not want to head out the door.
“As hard as those feelings and thoughts are, we must not give in to them and let IBS rule us,” he said.
“Yes, it’s a constant battle but one which we can fight and conquer.
“If it’s a race you’ve already booked and paid for, I find that’s enough to get me out the door at least.”
You can read more about Jeff’s challenge and donate at www.ibs-2020.co.uk.