Running To Raise Awareness of IBS

Jeff at the Gloucester Half Marathon. Image by Imagination Photography.

Jeff Finnie, aged 51, from Swindon is running 20 half marathons in 20 months and one marathon, starting with the Gloucester Half Marathon this month and ending with the epic Sydney Marathon in September 2020 to raise awareness and funds for the debilitating bowel condition, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

After embarking on a fitness and diet regime a few years ago, Jeff was delighted to find that he was feeling fitter and healthier after dropping three stones in weight. However, Jeff also started to experience excruciating stomach cramps, excessive bloating and severe eczema on his elbows and scalp.

Doctors were unable to find a cause for the extreme bowel pain. A colonoscopy ruled out diverticulitis and anything malignant, so Jeff was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and was told to ‘get on with it’. He received no medication or any advice on how to manage his new condition.

After researching his condition extensively, Jeff embarked on a fodmap diet, which involves removing foods that contain certain sugars and slowly reintroducing them over a period of several weeks. He found that the diet helped to keep his symptoms under control and with a few other tweaks to keep energy levels up for training, Jeff mostly has his condition under control.

With so little known of the causes and how to treat irritable bowel syndrome, Jeff has decided to take up this massive challenge to raise awareness and funds for the IBS Network. Jeff started his challenge by running the Gloucester Half Marathon last Saturday (20/1). Jeff did really well and completed the race in 01:58:55, which was a little slower than anticipated but he’s nursing a sore hamstring at the moment. Jeff’s IBS managed to stay under control with buscopan, with only some small abdominal cramps experienced around mile 7. Nonetheless, Jeff ran through it and is looking forward to his next half marathon in Llanelli.

You can donate to Jeff’s cause via his Totalgiving page.

To follow Jeff and his challenge, you can visit his website http://www.ibs-2020.co.uk/

Good luck Jeff!