Man Who Runs Across Europe To Raise Money For ME Headed To Malta's Marathon

He's been running ever since his friend was diagnosed with the disease


Over 4,800 people applied for the Malta Marathon - but for one man from the UK, this marathon is much more than a test of his endurance.

It was ten years ago when Mike Harley's best friend Ian was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or M.E. 

Since then, Mike's life has never been the same: "Ian has been unable to work or lead a normal life; this is the only way I feel I can help him, by running marathons," said Mike. 

Mike explained that "ME is the single biggest cause of child school absence in the UK" and he said that it is estimated that 17 million people have it worldwide.

Current recommended treatments include exercise therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy which have been shown in many cases to make patients much worse. 

Stockholm Official

That's why Mike is currently running around Europe to complete 29 marathons to help raise money and awareness for biomedical research to find a cure for M.E.

"I’ve completed 14 marathons so far (UK, Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Greece, France, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands and Slovenia) with 15 left to go," he said.

"I’m running Malta Marathon next on Sunday February 25th and am hoping to meet any patients well enough to come and cheer me on as I aim to raise funds and awareness for ME research across Europe," he said.

He is hoping to raise around 30,000 euros for Invest In ME a research charity run by volunteers and a founding member of the European ME Alliance.  

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While here, Mike is hoping to meet some of the locals: "In each country that I visit I try to meet up with patients, charities and support groups to hear their stories and try to raise awareness of the illness there. So far I’ve helped to set up a Polish ME Support Group (now nearly 100 members) and met patients in nearly every country I’ve visited."

By the end of his tour, he would have taken nearly 60 flights, ran 10,000 race and training miles and got through over 14 pairs of trainers. 

While in Malta, he will be meeting and working with ME, CFS & Fibromyalgia Alliance Malta, a Maltese NGO dedicated to the same cause as Mike. They are also encouraging Maltese people to take part in the Malta Marathon.

Anyone who would like to donate to Mike's mission can do so by following this link.

Lovin Malta will also be taking part in this year's Malta Marathon to help raise funds for mental health. Find out more about it here.

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Will you be taking part in the Malta Marathon?

READ NEXT: Here's Everything You Need To Know About The 2018 Malta Marathon

Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]