ME Awareness: John Milburn the solo Half-Marathon Runner and Pat Brown who sold her 1960s bike | 13 May 2020


Tony Britton, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.

Say ‘hello’ to supporters John Milburn who ran a solo half-marathon to help save the MEA and Mrs Pat Brown, who saved her 1964 Moulton cycle for posterity – by selling it!

John Milburn about to leave home…

John Milburn ran all by himself to one of England’s finest cathedrals last week to make up for missing out on a big race that was dropped at the last moment because of the coronavirus lockdown. 

With York Minster firmly in his sights – well you can’t not see it, whatever your approach – he ran a lonely Local Landmarks Half Marathon for the ME Association last Thursday (May 7). 

John was making up for missing out on being part of a 19-person ‘Team MEA’ in the cancelled London Landmarks Half Marathon at the end of March. 

A gardener/groundsman working for a large private estate near his home in Stillington, 35-year-old John had planned to start the run at midday but then checked the weather forecast.

“It was going to be burning hot that afternoon, so I set out at 9am to beat the hot weather,” he said. 

He ran from Strenshall, to York University, then the racecourse, past the railway station, along the River Ouse to Lendal Bridge, on to Clifford’s Tower (which was lit up blue for ME Awareness Day five days later), through the famous York Shambles and thence to the Minster – seat of the Archbishop of York, the second most senior priest in the Church of England.

As you can see from his Sky 4G tracker, he completed the distance just 52 seconds short of two hours. He chose to run for us as his partner Lucy, who has M.E., regularly looks in on the ME Association’s Facebook page.

“Lucy has got to know you through that page. You’re obviously a great association, a vital group for people with the illness so of course I wanted to support you.”

John under the imposing west front of York Minster.

Running isn’t in his blood, so this was something really special.  The last race he took part in was the Great North Run in 2010.

Every mile he put into training and on the day itself racked every muscle but he wasn’t going to let his training for London go to waste. 

Lucy has had M.E. for some years and has been self-isolating for weeks because of Covid-19.

But she is looking forward to going back to work soon. She is an occupational therapist to who teaches life skills in a local psychiatric hospital. 

“She has her good days and her bad days, and she’s been off work for several weeks now. We’re both looking forward to getting life back to normal.”

Thank you, John, for sticking with us and for your generous support. It was great to hear your story and see those photos! If you would like to support John’s fundraising, please visit his JustGiving page.

56-year-old bicycle to get new lease on life!

Regular correspondent Patricia Brown has rescued her Moulton bicycle for posterity. She’s sold the bike she bought from new in 1964 for £100 – with the proceeds coming to the ME Association. 

Pat has found a buyer for her copy of Britain’s original small wheel, high-pressure tyre bike – manufactured by an iconic British manufacturer – through The Moulton Bicycle Club. And the private buyer has agreed to take it on as a restoration project.

Pat Brown with her 1960s bike.

It’s a project that would have delighted the presenters and viewers of ‘The Repair Shop’ TV show.

Pat (“Patricia’s my Sunday name!”) told us: “I stored that bike over the years, while I lived in America, returned to the UK and during the time when I had M.E.

“I’ve mainly recovered now and spend time talking with and supporting other M.E. sufferers on Facebook as I’m now 75-years-old.”

The actual exchange with the buyer has been delayed until after the coronavirus crisis.

Pat, who now lives in East Leake, Leicestershire, added: “I’ve often written to the ME Association as I’m always finding out more about this weird disease. When I first joined the MEA in 1993, I couldn’t understand why I was so ill. I had to retire early, then 10 years later I managed to get some of my life back.”

ME Awareness Week Monday 11th – Sunday 17th May 2020

The ME Association

Please support our vital work

We are a national charity working hard to make the UK a better place for people whose lives have been devastated by an often-misunderstood neurological disease.

If you would like to support our efforts and ensure we are able to inform, support, advocate and invest in biomedical research, then please donate today.

Just click the image opposite or visit our JustGiving page for one-off donations or to establish a regular payment. You can even establish your own fundraising event.

Or why not join the ME Association as a member and be part of our growing community? For a monthly (or annual) subscription you will also receive ME Essential – quite simply the best M.E. magazine!


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