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Press Articles

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

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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