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

About Colin Morley - MND Run to New York Blogger

Colin Morley is a long time athlete and while of recent times this has mainly involved cycling, he has completed three of the last four Gold Coast Half Marathons.

He is a keen writer and has operated several event specific blogs including

He also runs another ongoing Blog called Philosophy Fund and Fitness, although this has not been particularly active in recent times.

Colin was introduced to the work of the Foundation by Trent Daly.

He is also running the New York Marathon as part of the MNDandME group and it will be his first Marathon.

A Financial Services Executive in real life, and an eager writer.

Sponsor a Runner

Sunday, 9 August 2015

About The Bloggers

Coming Soon

Gold Coast Marathon 2015

Fun Photos

Nutrition Tips & Facts

Coming Soon!

A Story of Courage, Strength & Determination

Coming soon!

Jen Gearing

Interestingly, an inclination towards non team orientated sports has superseded the attractiveness of being part of a group of 39 people dedicated to an exceptionally worthy cause in Motor Neurone Disease and ultimately, entering the New York Marathon.

So, why does Jen Gearing wife, Mother of two sons and full time employee in a demanding role in Financial Services take up Marathon Running?

“I have always had a fitness lifestyle before having children, participating in Triathlons, cycling events and numerous fun runs. I work at Suncorp as did Scott so I knew his story, his commitment and his determination to make a difference. Through this, I got to know the MND group and became caught up in the group training and really enjoyed it.

As for marathons, I never wanted to do one so New York will be my first. I was overwhelmed by Sarah’s marathon, running half for her and half for Scott. It was so inspiring. When the team at MND said they were doing New York, I used every excuse to not do it finally falling back to affordability. I said I would do all the training with them and then I said to Michael (Husband) that I want to do New York and we would find the money. He was keen to go to the Rugby World Cup so the deal was done. I was doing New York and he was doing the RWC in London.

But that all changed when he said he would really like to come to New York and run the Marathon for MND instead.”

Jen spoke with emotion about how important MND and ME is to her and the need to find a cure. She spoke with feeling about the “randomness” with which it strikes and how we should never take our health for granted. Her commitment to the cause is equal, if not greater than her commitment to training for New York.

As to what Jen is expecting in New York on Marathon morning, she imagines the excitement, the noise, the throng of so many people and their own individual emotions and expectations. Jen referenced the anticipation of running through iconic areas of New York and past places of historical importance. She spoke of imagining the feeling as she crosses the finishing line,  “I actually think I will be tearing up with about 10 kilometres to go and will definitely cry as I cross the finish line. I feel the same completing a half marathon at the Gold Coast so a Marathon will be something else again and in New York. I actually think leaving Brisbane will be very emotional too as we set off without the kids on an adventure we never thought would happen to us”.

Jen’s 9 and 12 year old sons are excited for the adventure their parents are embarking upon and have an understanding of the cause. “They are aware and would often ask how Scott was getting on”.

Her parents think she is crazy and don’t really understand  “why would anyone want to run for over 4 hours”. While her two older sisters are among her greatest supporters.

Preparation is well under way and comprises four sessions a week. Longest sessions are 2.5 hours at the moment, interspersed with less intense and speed sessions. “I am pretty much following the program Paul is putting out each week and making adaptions where I feel I need to.”  So far injury free and that’s how we want to stay.

“I love the way I feel after a run, as if I have achieved something. I feel healthy and alive, it’s great”.

As for fund raising,  establishing an “Every Day Hero” page specifically for New York and would value every single dollar that is contributed so we may learn more about the horrific thing that is Motor Neurone Disease.

Finally, when thinking New York and the Marathon, Jen used the words “excited” and “scared” and referenced a desire to test herself, to go further than she has gone before physically and mentally.  By doing this marathon, she hopes to be part of a group that has made a difference for MND and Me.

To support Jen, go to:

Emma Hill

I was given the opportunity to speak with the bubbly Emma Hill, Associate Director of Now Careers and sister-in-law to the late Scott Sullivan, founder of the MND and Me Foundation.

Originally from Brisbane, Hill spent 20 years in Sydney before moving back to Brisbane when her sister, Sarah Sullivan broke the news about her husbands MND diagnosis. She moved in with the Sullivans and their two children to provide assistance and support through what would be their toughest challenge.

When asked how she decided to do the marathon, she giggles at the thought and says “I was at the MND and Me Gala dinner in March this year and after a few drinks decided to sign up for the New York Marathon.” Having not done a marathon previously or been to New York, she figured “if I am going to do one, the New York one would be the one to do”.  

We spoke about the motivation behind doing the marathon and it was evident that Scott Sullivan played a major part in this. “I saw what he achieved after he was diagnosed with MND and it gave me the inspiration to want to help raise awareness and funds for the disease”.

This will be Hill’s first and most likely only marathon however she did complete two half marathons in Sydney, be it many years ago. Hill started training rather late and has had a few injuries but is happy that she has reached the 15 km mark.

There is a group that train together four times a week. She alternates with her sister due to having the kids and she describes the importance of supporting each other. Her upcoming program consists of running the Brisbane half marathon as well as the twilight half marathon in September. She also plans to do the Bridge to Brisbane as a group. By the end of September, early October she hopes to be completing at least one 35 km run before hitting New York.

She talks passionately about preparing herself mentally and drawing inspiration from her brother-in-law, who ran a half marathon just after he was diagnosed and also cycled from Brisbane to Sydney 12 months before he passed away. She also watched her sister do a marathon a couple of years ago when Scott challenged her. Her inspiration comes from many different people.

Although she is not entering the marathon to break any records, she would like to complete it within five or six hours. I asked her to describe how she thinks she will feel when she approaches the start line. She says “I’ll be trying not to be sick. I’m going to be very nervous and anxious. It’s not something I’m looking forward to at all.”

Her post marathon recovery strategy is fairly straightforward – keep the muscles active by walking, wear compression tights, get a massage and lots of magnesium powder. “An ice bath would be ideal, but I’m not sure the hotel would have enough ice for everyone”.

As for her chosen charity, the family history plays an important part. Although she has done a lot of work with other charities, as soon as her brother-in-law was diagnosed with MND and she found out what MND was and what a horrible disease it is, she has dedicated her time to help fund raise for this particular charity and will continue to do so to help carry on what Sullivan started. All too often we forget about the importance of family and supporting each other and Hill certainly reiterated this.

Her company Now Careers, a construction recruiting company working in sponsorship with MND and Me, helps sponsor events to raise money. The Sydney office has chosen the Sydney Children’s Hospital to sponsor and have recently managed to raise over $30,000. The Brisbane office has decided that MND and Me will be their charity partner and any sponsorship or fund raising they do going forward will be for MND. Can they beat the $30,000 recently raised for the Sydney Children’s Hospital? With your help they can.
To sponsor Emma, head to:

Author: Hayley Polsen

Fletcher Dyson

What a pleasure it was to chat to retired Queensland Reds & Wallabies player Fletcher Dyson. This humble, laid back gentleman spoke with pride about his past rugby union career and spoke with excitement about his upcoming marathon challenge.

Having played 51 games for the Queensland Reds and 10 test matches for the Wallabies, Dyson is no stranger to physical challenges. His Rugby career came to an abrupt end when he suffered a neck injury in 2004, an injury that very nearly took away his ability to walk again.

These days, the father of three and husband to Amanda, works as the Queensland State Manager for a company specialising in orthopaedics and has set his next challenge to running the New York Marathon. This will be his first marathon and definitely an item to tick off his bucket list.

At 42 years of age and weighing in at 118 kilos, Dyson admits “initially I was unsure if I could do it, but it was my wife that convinced me to sign up for the challenge, one that we will do together”.  They are hoping to raise as much awareness as possible for the MND and Me foundation not only across Australia but across America also.

“I’ve never run more than 10 kilometres but now I am up to 17. I’ve always thought that being mentally tough and mentally strong is good and I think it’s all about good preparation and getting into a good mindset. Having not done much in the last 11 years, blowing the cobwebs off the muscles is bringing back a lot of old memories.  When I think about staring down that barrel of 42 kilometres and it’s just me, my mind and the atmosphere, for me at the moment it’s all about getting as many kilometres as possible under my legs”.

The Gold Coast half marathon will be a good measure of how he is going physically. “My calf muscles have always been a weakness for me, so after the 21kms, I will know exactly how I’m feeling and how my calves are going”.

Dyson isn’t setting a run time for the marathon, but just wants to test himself at 42 km’s. As long as he crosses that finish line he will have achieved his goal.

We spoke about what feelings he thinks he will experience on the day. He knows he will be excited but above all he will be nervous. “You will basically be at base camp looking up at Mount Everest. The key to it is to enjoy it. Taking the pressure off by not focusing on a time and just focusing on crossing the finish line allows you time and space to actually enjoy the run. Standing on the start line, I’ll definitely be emotional.

“Although I’ve always been a nervous person on game day, I’m really excited about this.  I imagine during the last five kilometres of the run, the crowd will get a little bigger, the skyline will get taller, the legs will be hurting and I know it will be the longest five kilometres I’ve ever done. But I’m hoping the endorphins and adrenalin will keep me going”.

He has also been given some great advice from past marathon runners, “if you are running well, back off and ease up because your energy will come in waves. You need to be able to manage the mind and body. But most of all enjoy it because we are fortunate enough to have the freedom of the body, mind and soul to be able to complete this.”

We also spoke about his biggest fear of getting to a point in the marathon where his calves and legs won’t want to move anymore. But at 42 he knows his own body and how far he can push it.

When I asked him what he was most looking forward to post marathon, there were only a few words needed,  “Stone & Wood Pacific Ale. If I can run a marathon, I think I will have deserved a beer.” He also plans to go for long walks to keep the muscles moving which was an important recovery regime back in his football days.

Having been to New York before, his top recommendation is to see the city via helicopter by doing a helicopter tour. “It was 20 minutes of pure beauty. A beautiful place and the people are incredibly friendly.”

So who has been his biggest support person so far? His wife Amanda of course.  And it’s no surprise that he draws his inspiration from the late Scott Sullivan. “In the short time I got to know him, the influence he had on the awareness of the disease and the way he dealt with his own situation was admirable. He was a tower of strength”. It’s evident that he feels very grateful at the idea of running a marathon for such a good cause.

I was definitely captivated by his positive energy, attitude and friendly nature. When I mentioned my own lack of ability to run a marathon, he finished up by saying, “Hayley, you’re only limited by your imagination. It’s all about sacrifices, believing in yourself and it’s about the power of the mind”. He then got me thinking, maybe I too can run a marathon some day ……

To sponsor Fletcher, head to:

Author: Hayley Polsen

MND and ME

Imagine losing the ability to move your arms or legs. Imagine losing the ability to speak, swallow and eventually breathe. How would you handle telling your children that in a few months time, you won’t be able to play with them anymore?  Imagine going through all this while retaining your mental alertness and capabilities. These are just some of the struggles faced by people suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.

So what is Motor Neurone Disease (MND)?
Motor Neurone Disease is the name given to a group of terminal diseases in which the nerve cells (neurones) controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow, undergo degeneration and die.

Motor function is controlled by the upper motor neurones in the brain that descend to the spinal cord; these neurones activate lower motor neurones.  The lower motor neurones exit the spinal cord and directly activate muscles.  With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste. MND can affect a person’s ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe.

A cure is yet to be found, there is no effective treatment and it can strike anyone at any time.  The average life expectancy of a person diagnosed with MND is 27 months. 

What is the MND and Me Foundation?
The MND and Me Foundation Limited is a not for profit organisation that was formed to raise awareness of MND and its' impact in the community.
The MND and Me Foundation supports people and their families living with motor neurone disease in Queensland. The Foundation delivers support programs and funds research into treatments and a cure for MND.
The MND and Me Foundation was established by Scott Sullivan, a husband and father of two children, who was diagnosed with MND in 2010 at the age of 38. Scott sadly died in April 2014.

The reason they are running the New York Marathon?
The MND and Me Foundation provides support for an estimated 300 people in Queensland living with MND. A key element of this support is to fund a “Regional Adviser” service that assists all Queenslanders impacted by MND.

A Regional Adviser is responsible for providing a person centred, responsive and timely service that includes assessing the care needs of people living with MND, making appropriate referrals, assisting people living with MND to negotiate the service system and acting as an interface with health professionals and community services. They are out in the community ensuring that the generic service systems of health, disability and aged care are able to meet the needs of people living with MND, with the aim to deliver quality of life.

At the moment there are many Queenslanders without access to this critical service, especially those in regional Queensland. Due to the often rapid progression of the disease the Regional Adviser plays such a key role in ensuring the support provided keeps up with the pace of the progression.

With the funds raised from running the New York Marathon it is the aim to employ more Regional Advisers to ensure people with MND have access to services that meet their needs.