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Any press related articles to do with the challenge will be saved in this page for you all to read.

Sheffield Star - Thursday 13th February 2020

Marathon man to support IBS charity

A runner suffering from irritable bowel syndrome is set to run 22 half marathons and three full marathons in a bid to raise cash for a Sheffield-based charity helping people living with the chronic condition.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 10:11 pm

Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 3:46 pm

Jeff's 350-mile running challenge to ease the strain for IBS sufferers

Jeff Finnie, aged 52, decided to take on the gruelling challenge in a bid to raise cash for the IBS Network, a Sheffield-based charity which helps people suffering with the chronic digestive condition, irritable bowel syndrome.

Jeff took up running as a hobby five years ago after tipping the scales at 14 stones, but was dealt a devastating blow in his fitness journey when he was diagnosed with IBS.

However, he did not let his condition deter him and, after making changes to his diet, he continued the hobby he enjoyed.

Jeff Finnie is taking on a marathon challenge for IBS Network

Speaking about the challenge Jeff said: “I’m really looking forward to taking on this epic journey in my life and I hope it all runs smoothly, without pain or injury.

“I hope my friends and family will get behind me once again and help raise money for the charity I have chosen – this time it affects me in my life, not just in my running capacity.

“IBS is a relatively silent condition that many of us have, but it doesn’t get mentioned much. If I can also raise some more awareness of this condition and how to live with it, then I will be very appreciative of all your efforts.”

Jeff has already completed the Valencia marathon and as part of his journey is set to take on marathons in Sydney culminating in the famous New York Marathon in November.

As part of his challenge Jeff will also return to Sheffield next month when he takes on the Sheffield Half Marathon.

Jeff said: “Through talking about this condition and sharing with fellow sufferers along the way it has become an easier way of life than the suffering I was made to think was normal way back at the beginning of my journey.

“So, now aged 52 I feel as if I have got my life back, on my terms and in my control.

“The next chapter in my life is about to start, as I embark on this new challenge.”

You can read more about Jeff’s challenge and his progress and donate at

The IBS Network is a national charity for IBS, offering information and advice.



BBC Points West - 28th January 2020

IBS trial to test amitriptyline as potential common treatment

  • 28 January 2020

A woman holding her stomachImage copyright GETTY IMAGES

IBS can cause abdominal pain among other issues

A medical trial is being held to see if a drug developed as an anti-depressant could become a common treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Amitriptyline has sometimes been prescribed to people with IBS when other treatments have been ineffective.
But experts said they needed to know more about why the drug helps before it can become more widely used.
A group of 500 volunteers is now being recruited from GP surgeries around Bristol, Leeds and Southampton.
According to charity the IBS Network, the condition affects about 12 million people in the UK.
There is no cure and patients can experience abdominal pain, bloating and constipation, among other symptoms.
Experts at the University of Bristol are leading the medical trial, which is called Atlantis.
The 500 test patients will be given either amitriptyline or a placebo tablet for six months and their symptoms and mood checked regularly.

Dr Matthew Ridd from Bristol UniversityImage copyright BRISTOL UNIVERSITY

The study will be led by Dr Matthew Ridd from Bristol University

Dr Matthew Ridd, a GP and a senior researcher at the University of Bristol, is co-ordinating the research.
He said: "I have prescribed it [amitriptyline] occasionally in my practice but there continues to be uncertainty about it as a treatment. There just isn't the research to be sure.
"Our exact understanding of the biological mechanism of how it works is imperfect.
"We need this research to know if it can be another tool in our toolbox as a first line of treatment."
Dr Rudd said the Atlantis trial, which also involves the University of Leeds and the University of Southampton, would be the biggest of its type.
The volunteers will be recruited through a network of 75 GP surgeries in Bristol, Leeds and Southampton and will need to be signed off by their doctor before taking part.

IBS 'felt like being stabbed'

IBS sufferer Jeff FinnieImage copyright JEFF FINNIE

Jeff Finnie suffered from IBS after losing three stone

Jeff Finnie began suffering from IBS after losing weight when he took up running.
The 52-year-old from Swindon said his problems started when he dropped from 14 to 11 stone (89kg to 70kg).
He said: "It was around that time that I started getting really bad eczema on my elbows and scalp and also bad stomach cramps and bloating on a regular basis.
"The cramps felt as if someone had a knife sticking in me and they were turning the blade, it was really bad."
Mr Finnie said his doctor was baffled and eventually he was sent for a colonoscopy.
To his relief, any form of cancer was ruled out and he was told he had IBS. But, he said, he was told he needed to learn to live with the condition.
He eventually managed to ease the symptoms by changing his diet, cutting out dairy products in particular.
Mr Finnie now runs marathons and uses his sponsorship money to raise awareness of IBS.
"People need to speak up more about the condition we face day in day out," he said. 
"It's never going to go away and you are going to have to deal with it yourself and get to grips with your body and work out your triggers and relief."




Rotherham Advertiser January 2020

also view online HERE

(No subject)
Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:51
jeff ( Details

Jeff's 350-mile running challenge to ease the strain for IBS sufferers

By David Parker | 10/01/2020 
Jeff's 350-mile running challenge to ease the strain for IBS sufferers
A RUNNER is overcoming adversity to complete more than 350 miles in two years to raise money and awareness for a charity.
Jeff Finnie (52, pictured), formerly of Thurcroft, decided in 2018 to run a series of half-marathons to raise £2,020 for The IBS Network, a charity based in Sheffield which
The former Wales Comprehensive pupil took up running as a hobby five years ago but a short while later he was diagnosed with the chronic digestive condition, irritable bowel syndrome.
But he did not let his condition deter him and, after making changes to his diet, he continued the hobby he enjoyed.
His charity challenge grew and he is now attempting to complete 22 half-marathons and three marathons in 22 months — culminating in the famous New York Marathon in November 2020.
He completed his first full marathon last month (December) in Valencia, Spain, in a time of 4 hours, 26 minutes and 34 seconds.
His efforts have so far raised £1,245 and an immeasurable amount of increased awareness for The IBS Network.
Jeff, who moved from Thurcroft to Swindon three years ago, said he took up running as a hobby after his dog died.
He had been walking his dog three or four times a day and replaced this exercise by running to work.
Jeff has completed races in Philadelphia, Lisbon and London since he took on his epic challenge.
And he will be returning to his native South Yorkshire in March when he takes on the Sheffield Half-marathon — his 15th over that distance.
“There’s no one cure for IBS and everyone has different symptoms,” he said.
“I have a very restrictive diet because of it.”
Jeff said he ate a strict diet of three meals a day — cereal, bagels or porridge for breakfast and a stir fry with rice, noodles, vegetables and lean meat for lunch or dinner.
He has to avoid dairy products and most processed foods.
“Running with IBS isn’t always an easy thing to do,” he said.
“You never know when any sort of attack is going to happen or in what form.
“The best we can do is go with the flow, if you’ve already made your mind up to go for a run then that’s half the battle won.
“The battles in your head can be far harder than the battle out there on your run.”
Jeff said sometimes he felt like he did not want to head out the door.
“As hard as those feelings and thoughts are, we must not give in to them and let IBS rule us,” he said.
“Yes, it’s a constant battle but one which we can fight and conquer.
“If it’s a race you’ve already booked and paid for, I find that’s enough to get me out the door at least.”
You can read more about Jeff’s challenge and donate at



Swindon Advertiser September 2019


IBS Relief - March issue


Support ‘Team IBS’ at the Sheffield Half Marathon

Good luck to our team of runners at this year’s Sheffield Half Marathon which takes places on 14 April.

The team of nine is led by Jeff Finnie, who is taking on the challenge of running 20 half marathons and one full marathon by 2020. Thanks to Jeff and all the runners for their fundraising efforts.

The money raised will help us to continue to support the thousands of people in the UK who are living with an IBS diagnosis. If you’re in Sheffield on 14 April join us to cheer them on or make a donation here. Good luck team IBS!


Gut reaction - Spring 2019


Sunday 3rd March 2019

Swindon Link free paper article - delivered in Swindon 1st March 2019 and online version now available at

Fitness fanatic with incurable condition takes on 20 half marathons for charity

By Claire Dukes - 1 March 2019

When most people opt for a new fitness regime to improve their lifestyle, the last thing you think will happen is discovering an incurable life-long condition.

Unfortunately, this is the everyday reality for fitness fanatic Jeff Finnie, 52. The security guard, originally from Sheffield and now based in Swindon, was diagnosed with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) three years ago after going to the doctor with severe stomach cramps, extreme bloating and red-raw eczema. 

It was one thing for Jeff to hit 14st and make some dietary changes, but another thing entirely to alter his whole lifestyle - playing a dangerous game of trial and error with his diet. Five years on, - despite suffering an excruciating IBS attack during the Swindon half marathon in 2016 - Jeff is undertaking 20 half marathons by 2020 to raise money for the UK's only IBS charity, the IBS Network based in Sheffield. 

“It’s [IBS] overlooked," he says, "no one’s interested. I think a lot of people think that people with IBS just get cramps and diarrhoea, but it’s a lot more than that. We’re on a really strict diet because certain things trigger certain things off in your gut – it’s hard to explain."

Despite a new diet IBS continues to be an issue for Jeff - especially as there is no prescribed medication for the condition aside from pain relief supplements such as Buscopan. When he suffered an IBS attack during the Swindon half marathon he said, "it’s like someone’s got a knife and they’re grinding it in your stomach.

"I consider myself really lucky – there are many people who have IBS a lot worse than me. So, I am in a position where I can run to raise money for the charity because I can.”

Initially Jeff started looking into IBS five years ago when the symptoms really started to kick in, but as so little was, and still is, known about the condition doctors said he'd just have to 'get on with it'. After being told countless times there was nothing that could be done, Jeff started doing his own research to improve his lifestyle and help raise awareness of IBS.

His original goal was to run the Sydney full marathon for the IBS Network, but he decided he wanted to build himself up to make sure he could do it. "I want to know I can do that distance before I commit to it – there’s no point in going all the way to Sydney not knowing whether I can do it or not."

Ahead of IBS Awareness Month in April, Jeff kick started the first leg of his challenge with the Gloucester half marathon in January, which will be followed by races in Lisbon, Sheffield, Swindon, Portugal, Philadelphia, Valencia and eventually end in Sydney for the full marathon in 2020. For someone who says they're not competitive, Jeff has certainly waged a war against people's disregard for IBS syndrome.

"Doctors aren’t interested," he says. "They haven’t got the time. And if they’re going to start looking into it, then they’re going to have to do that for every single person, which is going to take up a lot of their time.

"Even dietician-wise IBS isn’t looked at – they have nothing to do with it. It’s very hard to find a nutritionist who deals with the IBS side of things because of all the restrictions.

"I found the FOBMAP Diet almost as soon as I got diagnosed. So, I went from being in constant pain and eating anything to following this new diet and it worked. But I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life."

Despite his condition, and a few minor injuries along the way, he says it's not all "doom and gloom". As a keen traveller and photographer this challenge will enable him to visit places, he couldn't justify the expenditure on before. "My friends keep inviting me to come to Australia, and I thought ‘it’s a lot of money – I want a purpose to go there, so I’ll run the full marathon', which I’ve never done in my life. But I can arrange anything, and I’m not stopping running just because of an injury - unless I can’t walk completely.

“I just enjoy life - I’m never bored.”

TotalGiving page:

Jeff's website:

Read Online HERE

swindon link press article march 2019




Wednesday 6th February 2019

Article in Llaneli star ahead of the race.


llaneli press 2019

Tuesday 1st January 2019

Small article in Runners World magazine in the February issue.

runners world article

Tuesday 18th December 2018

The IBS Network gut reaction December issue has a great article in it about myself.

ibs network article dec 2018


Swindon Advertiser -Thursday, October 4, 2018

Runner 'felt like he had been stabbed'

Jeff suffered IBS attack in half marathon.

Reece Chaplin

FITNESS fanatic Jeff Finnie managed to complete the Swindon Half Marathon in spite of suffering an irritable bowel syndrome attack a quarter of the way through the race.

The 51 year old says he was on fire up to the fifth mile and 38 minutes into the race. But then he suddenly felt as though he was being stabbed.

He was only diagnosed with IBS, a condition that affects the digestive system, four years ago. It causes symptoms like stomach cramps,bloating,diarrhoea and constipation.

The effects tend to come and go over time and can last for days, weeks or months at a time.

Jeff said: "It was very frustrating as i was cruising up until the point I had an IBS attack. It felt as though I was being stabbed with a knife and someone was continuously twisting it."

He had to run another mile-and-a-half before he found a toilet to use and even then he still didn't manage to relieve himself.

" I'm used to this happening to me, but not while running. I decided that the only thing i could do was grit my teeth and get on with it. "I'm still recovering from the event and it's been three weeks now"

But he is determined to carry on running. "I will not let this make me quit, I simply won't let it happen," said Jeff.

The security guard moved to Swindon from Sheffield in a bid to be near more runing events. He now runs four times a week and has already completed in 11 half marathons this year. He has even travelled to compete in both the Dallas and New York half marathons in America.

When his dad died two years ago it motivated him to be as active as possible while he still could. Jeff said: "I just want to enjoy life, and this is something I truly enjoy. It helps me keep fit and also is a way of keeping the condition under control."

" This is a way of proving to myself that i can still do it," he added.

The fitness enthusiast has set himself an epic challenge for next year, running 20 half marathons in 20 months. The final circuit will be a full marathon in Sydney, Australia.

He will be raising funds for the IBS Network, the only national charity in the UK that helps sufferers with the illness.

Anyone who wants to support him in his efforts can donate at

swindon advertiser 4thoct2018


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