Ella takes on the Thames Towpath

A student journalist turned out for some tough towpath running earlier this year when she completed six long runs to honour her mother, who has had ME for the past 17 years.

Nineteen-year-old Ella Moloney often had to tramp through mud and face fierce winds on the River Thames towpath in London as she ran a total of 50k to raise money for the ME Association.

A second-year student at Oxford Brookes University, Ella said what she did just didn’t compare to what her mum Gina has been through since she became ill. “My mum is the strongest person I know but it’s very hard to see someone so close to you being unable to leave bed for days at a time and having issues with thinking and speech.”

In January, the runs took Ella, who lives in Putney, along the River Thames and towards Battersea Park. She set herself a 50k target and was mightily pleased to finish.

“I didn’t run every day but definitely a few times a week (I was on my uni ski trip for one week so didn’t run during that time). Two of these runs were 10k and six were 5k. 

“I think one of the toughest parts was the weather conditions in January – it was quite cold and there were some very strong winds and rain, meaning I had to run (or slip) through a lot of mud and run against the wind. In terms of fitness it wasn’t really a struggle, but some days it was hard to motivate myself to go out in the cold.” 

To get work experience while on her media, journalism and publishing course, she’s being doing part-time writing and proof-reading for an online tech magazine called ‘ERP Today’.

“I’ve been working there for just over a year now but after uni I’m hoping to venture into more humanitarian writing – I’ve always been very interested in philanthropy and things like war journalism, but also potentially broadcasting. So who knows what I’ll do next!” 

She’s already written about ME/CFS for her course work – having tracked down key information about the illness and the charity by interviewing our head of communications Russell Fleming.

“I thoroughly enjoyed running for the ME Association”, she told me.  “I am so proud to be able to do something to help those with ME, as I often feel quite helpless when it comes to my mum’s struggles with the illness. I managed to raise £430 in total, which I hope will make a bit of a difference.”

If you would like to contribute towards Ella's fundraiser, please visit

Tony Britton
Senior Fundraising Consultant, The ME Association
tony.britton@meassociation.org.uk Mob: 07393 805566

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