John runs marathon to raise funds for MEA

John’s a lean, mean, running machine!

He’s a lean, mean, running machine who’s already completed 13 London Marathons but on 2nd October – even though he’s going off piste more than a bit – he’s all ours!

John Morsley, a chartered quantity surveyor on the Docklands Light Railway in the nation’s capital, will be running a solo marathon near his home after failing this year to obtain a place running in the main event.

The 62-year-old athlete from Hayes, near Bromley, told us: “I’ve run the London Marathon 13 times and this one coming up will be my 14th London run. This will be the first time I’ll be running it virtually as I wasn’t fortunate enough to gain a place in the ballot.

“In previous years, either my ballot application has been successful or else I’ve secured an automatic entry via the ‘Good for Age’ scheme.”

Even though John willl be running 26.2 miles in his home area, this ‘virtual' event – created for the covid era – has the blessing of the London Marathon organisers. Participants receive the much-prized official medal once they've provided proof of completion.

After running 10ks for much of his life, he plays down the reason why he then took to marathons: “It’s just a way of challenging myself to keep fit”, he said modestly.

He’s supported a number of other charities -­ including Debra UK and The Lord’s Taverners – in the past but this is the first time he is running exclusively for the ME Association.

His wife picks up the story and tells us why:

“My daughter, Anna, had always enjoyed outdoor activities such as horse-riding, hiking and triathlons. She was a particularly strong swimmer dating back to her days as a swimming captain at school.

“A recent move to Australia was a dream come true because it offered an active outdoor lifestyle in a good climate. She even qualified as a volunteer life saver at Bondi Beach.”

But things changed for 32-year-old Anna in early 2021 when she picked up a non-covid infection which she couldn’t shake off. After many visits to see doctors, her life became more and more restricted. Earlier this year, she was eventually diagnosed with ME/CFS.

“She has had to stop work, limit both physical and cognitive activities to 20 minutes at a time and needs help with daily domestic tasks. She has severe headaches and cannot tolerate lights even indoors when these occur.

“Her eyesight has suddenly gone from 20/20 vision to needing glasses. When she has a crash, she finds it hard to get out of bed. Sleep, when it comes, is not restorative.”

John and his wife want the money they raise to go to our Ramsay Research Fund. ME/CFS is a condition that needs to have raised awareness, to have targeted help provided (as it’s hugely underfunded) and desperately needs more research undertaken to find a cure.

“As seen with the covid vaccine the UK is a leader in cutting edge research so this is a good place to start. Any progress can only be for the good of everyone anywhere who is affected by ME/CFS and now Long Covid.”

Thank you, John, and good luck with your solo London! If you would like to support his fundraiser, please visit the link below


 For people with ME/CFS who are thinking about taking on a physical fundraising challenge, or if you are organising an event that might involve people with ME/CFS, please read this notice from Neil Riley, Chairman of the ME Association.

Tony Britton
Senior Fundraising Consultant, The ME Association Mob: 07393 805566

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