Monday, 21 December 2015

Emma Beasley's New York Marathon Experience

Earlier this week, I met up with the lovely Emma Beasley. We took time out from the craziness of pre Christmas week and caught up for a wine and a long chat. From someone looking across at us, you would think it was two friends, who had known each other for years, laughing, smiling and chatting. Little did they know that I had only met this wonderful human being just six months ago.

I attended a get together with the MND and Me team back in July. A casual event, but one I wasn’t sure whether I would have anything to contribute to. A group of people all travelling to New York to run the New York Marathon, but I could barely run 5kms.

Not long after I arrived, this bubbly person whose smile was absolutely infectious, came up to me and said “Hi my name is Emma”. And from that moment, we were lost in conversation.

This mother of two and wife to Matt, knows all too well the real life struggles faced by people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Her father was diagnosed with the disease in July 2014 after experiencing problems with his foot for about 12 months.

Her father is not someone to complain about anything, but when he told her his entire body was becoming weaker and weaker, she knew that it was MND. Having previously worked as a speech pathologist, she was acutely aware of the symptoms. Six weeks later he was diagnosed with MND.

Emma explains, “The cruellest part of the disease for Dad is that he has always been a worker with extremely good physical strength. So to lose something that is so much a part of his character is extremely confronting, particularly when you know there is no cure. Each night Dad goes to bed the strongest he will ever be. He will wake up in the morning and feel normal, until he has to move and is then reminded that the beast of MND is still there.”

Emma mentions that her father has always been a very optimistic person and when he was diagnosed he said he was thankful that it was him and none of the girls or grand children. His resilience, strength and courage is something that really inspires Emma. Although there has been an adjustment phase and a time of grief, he has managed to really push ahead and even become heavily involved in the research, which has been a great coping mechanism for the whole family.

With Emma’s father having a slower progressing form of MND he is still reasonably mobile. But they are starting to see changes to his breathing and vocal quality, and it is evident that even picking up utensils is getting harder and harder for him.

Like most people who have a loved one with this disease, Emma struggles with the fact that there will come a time where she wont be able to pick up the phone and chat to her father. “ His breathing is starting to become affected and he is getting some facial weakness which will ultimately take his speech away. I will miss his warm gentle voice.  Whilst we know his fate, we try not to think too much into the future, as it is emotionally very painful to go there. Although we are passionate about raising awareness and finding a cure, we are realistic and know that it’s a long road ahead. I just keep thinking we’re so lucky that we have time to plan and spend time together”.

So when Emma got a call from her cousin asking if she wanted to run the New York Marathon and that she had less than 24 hours until the closing deadline, she didn’t really have a lot of time to think about it. 

In the end she figured it was a really good opportunity to raise awareness and funds and she also knew some of the people in the MND group and was quite excited about doing this with them. 

So she signed up for it having not run a marathon before, or being a distance runner. Her new years resolution was to run the Gold Coast Half Marathon, so she figured if she could do that mid year, it would be a good stepping stone to the New York Marathon in November.

As far as her training went, she giggles and admits that she definitely tried to “wing it”. She didn’t follow a strict program and also had to juggle work, kids and family commitments also. She was very grateful for having a few serious runners in the group because she was able to draw advice from these people, which really helped.

The night before the marathon was spent desperately trying to get a sugar fix and putting together the photo she had of her dad, family and grandkids which was signed by everyone that had sponsored or supported her. This was a very important piece of inspiration on the day of the marathon.

Emma was issued with a start time of 11am, however the group she had been training with had a start time of 10:40am. It was then she started to panic and become anxious at the thought of having to run the marathon on her own.

The team came up with a strategy to “sneak” her through the 10.40 slot time, which worked. Having people to run the marathon with made her feel so much better. The thought of running it on her own was simply terrifying and caused her a lot of anxiety.

When I asked Emma if there was anything specific that she remembers from the marathon or anything that stood out, she said “The music. I loved the music and so many times I would shout “oh my god I love this song”. I also remember people calling my name, which was an amazing feeling. Oh and the random motivational posters. The one I distinctively remember was ‘Run like you have stolen something’. The New Yorkers were just so amazing and so supportive”.

But as you would expect, it wasn’t all amazing wow moments and fun music. There were definitely times where things got tough. But during these times, Emma just kept reminding herself that if her dad can still manage to put one foot in front of the other, then so could she. This really pushed her through right to the end.

She finished after an incredible 4 hours and 40 minutes and was determined to watch her husband cross the finish line. “When I crossed the line I was exhausted, but certainly felt a huge sense of achievement. Watching my husband also cross the line was a great way to finish the marathon.

“Having such an amazing group in New York all running the marathon for the same cause was a great way to experience it. I have been so inspired by every single person that was part of that group. It was like a little family. I definitely felt very spoilt having these people to train with.”

I think to some degree, Emma has no idea how truly inspirational she has been to many other people. She is very quick to compliment others on their achievements and bravery but she too deserves a pat on the back. Her commitment to the cause and the marathon while juggling work, kids, a never ending stream of sickness around the house during the winter months and of course her commitment to her father. I am pleased to have met her and had the chance to help share her story.

We spoke about the lack of funding from the Government for MND research. In 2015, MND research received $2.3 million of the $420 million invested in medical research, which equates to roughly 0.5%. However, in 2016 it will receive $2.5 million of the $760 million invested, roughly 0.3%.

So it’s no wonder that events like the New York Marathon where $250,000 was raised, play such a vital role in raising much needed funds for this charity.

So if you or your business would be interested in helping out a great cause and getting involved in future events, please get in contact with the MND and Me Foundation.

*Author: Hayley Poslen

Monday, 19 October 2015

From Strength to Strength

With two weeks to go until MND and ME make their New York Marathon debut, we caught up with Foundation CEO Paul Olds to talk about how the Foundation started and preparation for the Marathon. 

He explained how it all began:

“It all started when my long time friend Scott Sullivan was diagnosed with MND and we decided to hold a Gala Dinner as a fund raiser for him and to help raise  funds for  research. We were amazed when we sold over 600 tickets and from there, we have never looked back. This was 4 years ago.”

It quickly became clear that people impacted by MND and their support networks were not getting the same service levels as other states and Scott made it his mission to increase the level of support available. This meant financial resources were needed.

Paul explained

“We were essentially an event driven organisation raising money but also raising awareness, developing support in the community. We were operating on a purely volunteer basis, all out of Scott’s lounge room and before we knew it we had raised over a million dollars.”

But it was the next step in the Foundation’s evolution that was the most challenging as MND and ME began to develop their own programs and support services.

“The disease is still a mystery in many ways. Some sufferers pass away in 6 months while for others it is 10 years. However the average is 27 months.

Support is a never ending feast as MND comes on differently for everyone. It may start in the legs which means initially a walking stick is needed. Then they progress to needing a motorised chair.  So the challenge is stay one step ahead to provide the support needed to allow the person to remain independent, maintain some lifestyle and continue to interact.

For others, it may attack their throat and chest affecting the ability to speak. With help from the Wilson HTM Foundation we started a program where we lend an IPad loaded with a variety of speech applications. The person can then work with their speech pathologist to determine which is best for them. This has been ongoing for over 2 years now.

We are working with between 20 and 30 families at any given time and are expanding our geographical reach having just launched a regional and remote program for IPad lending, but as always, we want to do more”.

And what about for carers?

“One of our new programs is specifically for carers and is around Mindfulness training. This was run over 4 sessions and addressed techniques to cope with stress, with chaos, with getting sleep particularly in the final stages where the commitment becomes 24/7.

The survey results had participants reporting they were more effective carers, had more control, better relationships with the person they were caring for, felt they were living life and enjoying the time rather than having anger and frustration rule their life.

They felt a weight had been lifted and were giving themselves permission to enjoy life, be in the moment, and be the best husband, wife, father mother, son or daughter.”

Paul talked about the connection the Foundation has with running and how that came from Scott deciding to do the Gold Coast half marathon not long after he was diagnosed with MND.

“Around 25 runners participated in the first year. The Gold Coast running festival has become our event in a way with over 300 people participating in 2015, ranging from children in the 2 and 5 kilometres events through to all age groups in the 10 kilometre  as well as the marathon and half marathon.

It is a true indication of the family nature of the foundation and we are very proud of this. “

As for the New York project:

“It almost evolved by accident. A few of us were chatting saying how good it would be to run the New York Marathon. It was meant to be 5 or 6 runners and we thought raising $20,000 or so would be great.

But it grew legs of its own and now we have over 40 runners and as of now, have exceeded $110,000 raised.”

Paul is also running in New York in what will be his first marathon and after a frustrating 4 months of injury has settled into a consistent training pattern and has been leading the group training runs of up to 36 kilometres.

“My injury issues from February through to July means I may not have the base I was hoping for but I am mentally fresh.

When we are out doing our long training runs there is a lot of chat and this often turns to what the emotions will be on the finish line. My objective is to see if I can run with others in the group and support them to the finish line and support others in our group as they finish.

I am in awe of our New York team. People who had never run 7 k before are now doing 35 k runs and the spirit is amazing. We often have 25 or 30 along to group training sessions and others want to join us.

We discussed the future of the Foundation and what was ahead including the possible impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

If the NDIS does what it says it will do and should do, people with MND will be in a much better position. It will deliver a good care package from Government.

Equipment should  be there when needed, the speech pathologist and other allied health professionals also. Part of the work of MND and ME will be to make sure this happens and is happening correctly and then focus on filling in the gaps and ultimately delivering some serious funds to research.

If we can make this happen, we will know we are doing our job.

The support for the MND and ME and where it comes form is humbling.

There are so many charities out there and to see the faith people show in us amazes me every day. Our ongoing commitment is to maintain that trust.

Donors and supporters might have a parent who has heart disease, a friend who has had cancer and these are causes they support, but we have managed to touch them in a meaningful way and they want to support us as well.

It might be the children who used there pocket money to buy bottles of water and Chupa Chups and sell them in New Farm Park to raise funds. There was a seemingly homeless guy who ran beside Scott and Ian just out of Byron Bay on their Brisbane to Sydney bike ride, asking what they were doing. We then have us$50 saying his Father died from MND; it is the volunteers working to make an event happen or in the office, it all counts so much.”

And in conclusion:

“Our clients know what we are doing in New York and in a way, you couldn’t blame them if they were envious about what we are able to do and they are not.  I mean, we are going to a wonderful place to take part in an incredible event.

But they are so supportive. They see a Facebook post of 25 people meeting for training at 4.30 am on a cold morning and know someone is thinking about them. They see fund raising break through the $100,000 point and know lots of people care about them and their families. And for all their pain and suffering and the pain and suffering of their families, they ask how it is going, they are encouraging. They are the real heroes in all this and we are their servants.”

Catching up with Paul was very grounding in that among all the hype and energy surrounding New York, here was a passionate, committed CEO firmly focussed on the big picture, the Foundation, its work, clients and future.

At the time of publishing, fund raising was gone past $150,000 with two weeks to go.

Author: Colin Morley

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Science Behind "Carb Loading"

So, the big day is nearly here. You have trained for months and months and you can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. But your final week is a very important one as you don’t want to ruin all the hard work leading up to the event.

If you’ve done your research, you will know that there are many things that can go wrong on race day. You could eat the wrong food and have an upset stomach. You could run out of stored glycogen and therefore run out of energy early on in your run. Or you could simply be dehydrated before you even begin the marathon. So, it’s no wonder that the preparation leading up to the marathon is just as important as the training itself.

One of the most common hurdles a marathon runner will face is hitting a wall during the race. The biggest cause of this is muscle glycogen depletion. Glycogen is a fuel derived from carbohydrates and is stored in the muscles and liver, before it is released into the bloodstream in the form or glucose.

The body will usually have enough glycogen to run for about 90 minutes. In order to reserve that much needed glycogen, experts suggest reducing the length and intensity of your runs in the week leading up to your race. This will enable your body to store the glycogen which would normally be used to fuel your longer runs. They also suggest pacing yourself throughout the marathon in order to burn through stored glycogen more slowly.

As mentioned above, glycogen is fuel derived from carbohydrates, hence why there is good reason to “carb load” about three to four days prior to the marathon. A high carb diet generally consists of 7-12g of carbs per kilo of body weight. During this period, try to avoid high fibre foods, gas producing foods and spicy foods as this may cause you to suffer from an upset stomach on race day.

During your “carb loading” period, you should expect to gain roughly 2 kilos due to the extra muscle glycogen and water in the system. Think of it as the extra “fuel” your body will be carrying to help you complete those gruelling 42.2 kilometres. But don’t worry, your normal weight will resume once the marathon is over.

Of course, while increasing your carbohydrate intake, it is best to avoid the high fat foods such as chips, pastries, donuts and the like and concentrate on white rice, pasta with a tomato sauce, oats and english muffins just to name a few. Experts also suggest, as with any dietary changes, that you try out the “carb loading” method prior to the actual marathon.

Protein intake should be between 1.2-1.8g per kilo per day. For example, a 70kg athlete would need to eat between 84-126g of protein per day. Protein is essential for not only muscle repair and recovery, but when combined with carbohydrates, it can help improve protein balance and absorption.

So what does a high carbohydrate diet look like? The following diet is an example provided by the Australian Sports Commission ( and is suitable for a 70kg athlete:

3 cups of low-fibre breakfast cereal with 11/2 cups of reduced fat milk
1 medium banana
250ml orange juice
toasted muffin with honey
500ml sports drink
2 sandwiches (4 slices of bread) with filling as desired
200g tub of low-fat fruit yoghurt
375ml can of soft drink
banana smoothie made with low-fat milk, banana and honey
cereal bar
1 cup of pasta sauce with 2 cups of cooked pasta
3 slices of garlic bread
2 glasses of cordial
Late Snack
toasted muffin and jam
500ml sports drink*

This sample plan provides ~ 14,800 kJ, 630 g carbohydrate, 125 g protein and 60 g fat.

It is also important to eat a meal at least two hours prior to a marathon to allow the food to be digested. If nerves are a problem for you, try having a liquid breakfast like a smoothie if that is easier to stomach. You will need the energy from this meal to help with your glycogen levels.

Hydration is also key in the lead up to the marathon. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the days prior to the race to ensure you start out hydrated. A pee test is the best way to measure this. If your pee isn’t a light straw colour, then you need to drink more until it is. Dehydration places a huge strain on the body and can significantly affect your running performance. Make sure you start drinking water or sports drinks* early on in the race to minimise the risk of dehydration.

Sports drinks* are a great way to replace lost electrolytes. Sweat consists of three electrolytes; sodium, chloride and potassium, with sodium having the greatest concentrate. Therefore you may benefit from extra sodium. Be sure to practise your hydration strategy prior to the marathon.

After completing the marathon, it is equally as important to refuel, repair and rehydrate your body. After a long run, you have a window of approximately 30 mins when your body is primed to replenish its carbohydrate stores and soak up muscle-repairing protein. A glass of milk, a protein shake* or a smoothie provides a good mix of protein and carbs. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important to replace the water and electrolytes lost through sweat.

So to sum up, ensure you have a nutrition plan, a hydration plan and a “carb loading” plan in place and tested before the marathon so you know exactly what to expect. You don’t want to be dealing with any nasty surprises on the morning of the marathon. Be sure to have a meal at least two hours prior to the run and don’t forget to refuel, repair and replenish post marathon.
Author: Hayley Polsen
*for information relating to a range of protein shakes and electrolyte drinks specifically designed for athletes, please contact the author of this article

Friday, 11 September 2015

A Story of Courage, Strength & Determination

In March 2009, Trent Northover was a Canberra raised 23 year old living in London and working as a contractor on a large North East England project. It was a GFC ravaged London where jobs were impossible to get and almost as hard to retain. So when a sub contractor is happy with your work and as a show of appreciation offers the chance to join him and his son running the New York Marathon, it merits consideration, if only for business reasons.  

The former representative Australian Rules footballer who maintained a level of fitness in London by going to the gym had never once contemplated running a marathon. He considered the offer during a night out and in a haze of Lager induced heroics, accepted and so his story begins.

Trent worked in an environment that demanded long high pressure working hours compounded by an expectation, if not requirement to socialise most nights, something he did willingly and well. “I guarantee I was out Tuesday through to Saturday every week”.

Trent purchased a training program and largely followed it even if as he put it, “a 20 kilometre training run might have been preceded by a night out, two hours sleep and a coffee.”

In the meantime, his friend and colleague Jordan Griffith decided to come along and run the race too giving Trent a training partner.

I asked Trent to rate his preparation out of 10 and he gave himself a 6 or 7. “I was certainly committed and downloaded the programs. It was just burning the candle at both ends.

“I entered the London Parks Half Marathon in the first weekend of October and did that in 1 hour 52 minutes and deemed that as a good result. But in terms of what happened after that and the lead up, I certainly didn’t look after myself”.

His final month of preparation didn’t go that well. Trent was working 18 hour days under extreme pressure putting together a tender. There was not much work around so the tender was very important to everyone.  He was attempting to maintain his training, work and social commitments and with everything became sick.

“My main issue was a very bad chest infection. I remember being on 4 different antibiotics in the weeks leading up to the run and just before leaving for New York, my Doctor who was also an experienced marathon runner told me if I went ahead and competed, there was a chance I would die and I said ‘well, I am doing it’.”

Not withstanding, he travelled to New York as planned.

When asked about what he would do differently if he had his time over he referenced of all things, “not giving up alcohol”.

“I had been advised to give up alcohol 3 months before the run but decided to stop drinking a month out. I now know this was the worst thing to do. If I had stopped 3 months out my body would have fully detoxed however by doing what I did, my body was still repairing itself and this contributed to my sickness in that last month. Jordan kept drinking up until 36 hours before the run and was fine and I now know I should have too, or stopped 3 months out.

I arrived in New York, weak, sick, no energy and unable to breath.

I was determined to run but realistically, thought I would be done after 10 k. I am somewhat stubborn and my Boss Paul and his wife Julie had flown over specifically to support me so I wanted to at least start the run for them.”

As for the run itself and the start line?

“Apart from my wedding day and the birth of my child, it is the most amazing feeling I have had. I couldn’t even run 20 metres the day before and said I was going to run as far as I could get. I’ve never felt anything like the buzz and exhilaration of the race”

There was passion, excitement and emotion in his voice as he described the feeling of being part of 45,000 on the start bridge for the 40th edition of the New York Marathon. “Everyone was buzzed irrespective of it being their first or fifth marathon.

I can recall it so clearly. Strangers were coming up offering marking pens telling me to write my name on my chest. I asked why and they said ‘trust me, at the 20 mile mark you will be wanting people to call out your name’.

Each wave of starters was greeted with Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York blaring out with the start cannon.

Because I was sick, Jordan was going to stay with me but with so many people I lost him immediately. I instantly felt scared, alone and in fear of what would happen if I was sick and couldn’t continue.

By the 10 mile mark I was stuffed and people were yelling out my name, passing me bananas and face wipes. Every street you turned, you faced a maze of people and here I was, running around the 5 Burroughs of New York with 45,000 other people. It was awesome.

There would have been only a kilometre that wasn’t completely lined with people 5 deep.

You go through the African American part, the other Burroughs and they have their jazz playing or their bongos going. You recognised the different cultures you were going through by the types of music blaring. There were also people hanging out of their houses yelling you on and they all had their American flags – nothing can describe it. It was an amazing feeling. And some of the things you take note of. I remember a young guy who was running marathons at the time dribbling a basketball and he ran past me.

It started to get hard at about the 16 mile mark as we crossed the Queensboro Bridge in to Manhattan. I remember running on the bridge and thinking this is stuffed and as we ‘swirled’ off and under the bridge on the exit ramp saying to myself this is not fun and reality was starting to set in. The chest infection was really kicking in and an old back injury from 2003 was flaring. I was determined to keep going. I had put a lot of effort in, doing the 5 runs a week and here was the infection letting me down.

Also driving me to keep going was how hard we worked as a team. I had become very close to Paul and Julie who I referred to as my English Mum and Dad. Having them there to support me meant a great deal. I had bought them finish line tickets and now I wasn’t stopping even if it took 10 hours to get there. It’s all or nothing, 100% or not at all.”

Trent kept going.

“After 3 and a half hours I had 10 kms to go and was starting to make calculations. An hour perhaps, two even.

And then I snapped my hamstring, or so I thought.

I remember coming around a corner into a massive street (First Avenue) and it seemed you could look for miles and a plague of people lining this wide New York street. I grabbed my right leg and was sure my hamstring had snapped. The pain was excruciating.

I realised it was a severe cramp and stopped to put my leg up on an iconic New York fire hydrant. A member of the crowd jumped the barricade and put his arm around me so I could hold myself up and said ‘come on mate, you’ll be right, keep on going’. It came good and I jogged on.

The body was shutting down. I could see this little black hole in front of me, this black dot and it started getting bigger and I knew I was in big trouble. This was at about the 39 km mark and it dawned on me that I might not make it.”

When Trent’s race ended it was the fire brigade who picked him up when he collapsed. He was delirious and was throwing up repeatedly, green vomit. “It wasn’t normal, whether it was the gels or from my chest infection I don’t know.

“My next recollection was being in the back of an ambulance and being given electrolyte drinks and the discussion was of being taken to hospital. I was aware enough to know I could not afford the cost of hospital and tried to tell the ambos to just give me oxygen and I would be on my way.

I called my sister in London. I then called Paul and Julie who were in and around the finish line and they came and found me in the back of the ambulance, where I had the oxygen mask on and I broke down. Emotion came over me.

I was pleading with the paramedics to just drop me off at the hotel but they were not allowed to drop off anywhere other than a hospital. Eventually we reached a compromise and I was dropped off around the corner from the hotel.”

Paul and Julie assisted Trent in to the hotel lobby on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental where all the team were waiting and another wave of emotion came across him.

There was a change in Trent’s word flow and voice as he described this particular scene, the extreme emotion. It was an outpouring brought on by the sheer effort of the run, the pain and the illness before, during and after the run.

Everyone had their finisher medal proudly displayed around their neck, everyone that is except Trent. He had collapsed just over a kilometre from the end. When he asked the paramedics to give him oxygen and let him get on his way, he meant on his way to the finish line.

When he called his sister Hayley in London, he wanted her to get him out of the ambulance so he could finish. But she joined the paramedics and Paul and Julie in telling him to listen to his body.

He was throwing up litres of green muck, had collapsed, been picked up by the fire brigade and then taken in by the ambulance, but he wanted to go on; even though he had been told he could die.

Trent talked about the bond established between himself and Paul and Julie and the solid stainless steel bookends purchased by them as a memento of his efforts. They stand proudly in his study at home.

He said it took 6 months to feel well again.

I asked when the next marathon is. “I said I would never run another marathon until I did the New York marathon again.”

I followed up by asking what would motivate another attempt and he said doing it with the same crew again.

“I am in a different stage of my life where I look after myself, watch what I eat and drink. Perhaps the ten year anniversary in 2019.”

And the last word.

“I still look back on it as an amazing experience, it was so exhilarating”

Author: Colin Morley

Friday, 28 August 2015

Chris Chambers

How does someone go from being a self-confessed ordinary and occasional golfer to running the New York Marathon?

And when that person is closer to 110 kg, out of shape and largely inactive, making such a decision is perhaps best explained by the few glasses of wine being shared at the time.

But what makes this even more extraordinary is that at that time, Chris Chambers didn’t even own a pair of athletic shoes, shorts or shirts.

Married to Kylie and Father of Jackson, 40 year old Chris is motivated by and passionate about curing MND. Chris explained that he became aware of MND through Kylie’s friendship with Julianne O’Neil and through her and husband Colin, met Scott on several occasions. Chris also lost his Grandmother to a similar disease.

Chris spoke emotively about MND, how horrible it is saying, “The more money we raise the better, and the sooner the better. I am using my networks through Facebook and e-mailing people I know and that is going well. I have also achieved some donation success from business associates by reaching out on LinkedIn.

We are all getting out there training come rain, hail or shine – and it’s a testament to the passion many of us feel to raise awareness for the MND cause and finding a cure for this horrible disease.”

Chris is largely following the training program being posted by Paul Olds and involves three sessions a week, two of about an hours duration and a longer run on the weekend. Last weekends longer session was 37 k and Chris and several others “ran” the “Bloody Long Walk” from Shorncliffe to Kurilpa Bridge.

Chris is motivated to train by the fear of the pain he knows he is going to feel explaining “I know I am going to feel it at the 35 k mark and the more training I get in, the stronger I will feel about being able to break through that.  I have become obsessive about reading different strategies of how to tackle New York and take much from the saying– Pain is Temporary but the Sense of Accomplishment is Permanent.

So my training is getting me to the point where I know that when I feel just dead,  I will have the confidence to keep moving and just how amazing that is going to feel at the end

I get emotional now thinking about the last kilometre, so I can’t imagine what it will be like doing it. I think about this while I am out running and it keeps me going. I imagine the view of the New York skyline and just what it will feel like at the finish line.

When asked what his post run plans are, Chris had just one word – “Beer”.

Chris is the Director of Digital Marketing at Queensland Events and Tourism where he receives support from colleagues including several running buddies and mentioned Michael Sommer in particular.  

He also referenced the support he is receiving from his sister and regular “rev ups” from his Father.  And 11 year old Jackson “thinks it’s pretty cool”.

“It’s not running it under 4 or 5 hours to me – it is about putting my mind to something that 12 months ago would have seemed impossible. It’s knowing I can run the distance to have the sense of accomplishment and being a small part of supporting a cure for MND”

Chris added:

“Every dollar puts you a dollar closer to finding the cure. So if one of the dollars my family or friends donate can ultimately be the dollar that solves the riddles then how fantastic is that.”

To sponsor Chris, head to:

Author: Colin Morley

Interview with Chris Chambers

coming soon

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A Great Article in the Courier Mail

In case you missed it, check out the article in the Courier Mail which talks about the MND Brisbane Bodies heading to New York to run the marathon.…/story-fnihsps3-1227489062355

39 Brisbane bizzoids are training for the New York Marathon and hope to raise $100,000-plus for charity

Trent Daly is headed for the Big Apple. Illustration by Brett Lethbridge
Trent Daly is headed for the Big Apple. Illustration by Brett Lethbridge
Expect a solid Aussie presence in New York on November 1, when the city’s famed Marathon gets under way.
Among the 50,000 or so runners will be 39 Brisbane bizzoids on a mission to raise $100,000 or more for the MND and ME Foundation to battle motor neurone disease.
Trent Daly, a client adviser with Shadforth Financial Group and an MND director, said group members were already braving the early morning cold to pound some pavement as they aim to get in shape for the gruelling 42km ordeal.
Daly, who has previously knocked off seven marathons, has a bit of advice for the first timers: the halfway point comes at 30km, not 21km.
Joining Daly and MND boss Paul Olds on the journey to the Big Apple will be former Reds and Wallabies forward Fletcher Dyson, Kadin Boriss partner Jamie MacPherson, Clarke Kann partner Shane Williamson, Ord Minnett broker Kevin Cairns, Suncorp’s Jen Gearing, QInvest’s Colin Morley and Pitcher Partners’ Norm Thurecht.
The group also hopes to raise a bit of cash with a trivia night next month to help the Foundation, which was launched by the late Suncorp executive Scott Sullivan, who succumbed to the disease last year.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Interesting Marathon Facts

So, you are running a marathon. Or maybe you are thinking about running a marathon? Either way, you might find some of these marathon fun facts interesting:

- The most tiring marathon events is held in China, where participants have to climb 5,164 steps along the Great Wall

- Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila was a two time Olympic Marathon champion while running barefoot

- A typical marathon runners diet is 65% carbs, 25% protein, 10% fat.

- Carb loading refers to increasing carbohydrate consumption by 10-20%. It should be done in the last few days leading to the race

- Experts recommend drinking 400-800ml/hr during a marathon

- The 2013 New York marathon had 50,740 starters which is the largest in marathon history

- The worlds fastest marathon runner is Wilson Kipsang who completed the Berlin marathon in 2013 in 2:03:23

For more fun marathon facts, head to

Author: Hayley Polsen

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

About Hayley Polsen - MND Run to New York Blogger

Hayley Polsen is a recently qualified Freelance Journalist with a background in writing.

Hayley has over 14 years experience in the Financial Services industry of which six years was spent in London working for six major Investment Banks.

She also runs a growing Health & Nutrition business as a Health & Wellness Coach. She has helped people around Australia as well as America and the United Kingdom reach their health goals.

Hayley has travelled extensively and has an affinity with the New York Marathon as a result of her brothers attempt in 2009.

A keen animal advocate, she also has a strong passion for helping others.

Hayley's personal blog can be viewed at

For any enquiries in relation to a free Wellness Assessment or Freelance Journalism projects, she can be contacted via email