Jamie Flanagan - Questions & Answers (2013 Ocean Floor Race Entrant)
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family, where you live, profession, hobbies etc etc
I was born and brought up in Montrose on the 1st of November 1982. I was always obsessed with music from a young age and went on to study for a BA in Applied music with honours at Strathclyde University in Glasgow (Graduating in 2008). Drum kit and congas were my main instruments - Specialising in Jazz and Cuban music.
My career was interrupted in 2000 by being diagnosed with a rare disease called Wegeners Granulomatosis. This illness caused me to lose a large proportion of my hearing and spent the next couple of years going through the rigours of Chemotherapy. This didn't stop me in my ambition to study music, but played a major part in my decision to embark on a different career. I am currently working with Majestic Wine Warehouse in Inverness as a trainee manager.
My main hobby aside from music and running is football and following the mighty Glasgow Celtic!
2. What attracted you to enter ?
Running has kind of been my substitute for the day to day studying of music. Just like music, I'm always looking for the next big challenge and this race fits that bill perfectly.
When I'm older and I'm telling people about the "holiday" I went on when I was 30, I don't want to say I was lying on a deck chair in the Costa del Sol. I want to say I ran 160 miles across the Egyptian White desert. This is one of the ultimate tests of human endurance and a real test of mental strength. One that I will pass.
3. Do you have any ultra running experience?
I have ran further than 30 miles in training, but have no ultra running experience aside from that.
4. What do your friends and family think to you entering the event?
After undoubtedly saying that I'm mad, they understand my ambition and determination to always raise the bar. I've done it ever since I was kid. They are all very supportive of my running ambitions, however, they are already getting bored of me constantly talking about it! Apparently I am the sort of person that does these things and they believe this won't be my last Ultra.
5. Do you anticipate any problems during the race?
There are always problems in long races, it's how you overcome them that counts. That's what makes it so exciting!
6. Are you or will you be raising money for a charity doing this event? If so how did you get involved with the charity and do you have a fundraising target and a place where people can sponsor you?
I am going to be raising for this event, and will hopefully be doing so for 2 charities relating to the illness that I was diagnosed with in 2000. So far I am raising money for Vasculitis UK running in 2 marathons this year (Rome and Berlin). I'm hoping to include the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation in the fund raising efforts.
Most people diagnosed with this disease are affected with heart, lung and kidney problems. I am incredibly lucky to have only lost a proportion my hearing and see this as the perfect opportunity to prove there is life after being diagnosed with Wegeners. When I read about this illness on the Internet back in 2000, it read like I was on my death bed and that my life was over. I will try to change that and give fellow Wegeners patients hope and belief that this is very much not the case.
Details of the fund raising page and targets will follow in due course.
7. How will you train for this event ?
Aside from running in 2 marathons this year, I'm going to be consulting a few message boards for Ultra training tips. I'll also be meeting Tony Audenshaw (Bob the barman from Emmerdale and marathontalk podcast funnyman extraordinaire!) in April and will be asking him for tips as he has ran a few Ultra Marathons. He is also going to be helping raise awareness of my fund raising efforts and promote my participation in this event.
8. What would you say to someone who is physically fit but reluctant to take part in an event like this as they don't think they have what it takes?
If I've learned anything from my life it's that life has hurdles around every corner and it just depends on which hurdle to jump. They're all possible, you just need to do it. To complete this event you just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other... a lot. Sounds simple really. In saying that, this event is not for everyone. It is going to take a lot of dedication to complete it, and it's going to hurt... A LOT. You've got to love pushing the boundaries and going somewhere you may not be comfortable.
9. Will you take anything with you that isn't compulsory but you feel will aid you in the challenge?
I normally run without a hearing aid for fear of damaging it. Siemans hearing instruments have agreed to supply me with very rugged hearing aids called Aquaris to help me with this event. Life was meant to be lived without limits, and the Aquaris hearing instrument will help me do just that.
10.What do you think to the time limit of 94 hours and will moving at night be a problem for you?
The time limit is another challenge, but one I will relish. If there wasn't a time limit, or it was longer, there would be a temptation to rest more. The night time is my favourite time to run and I love my head torch! It's going to be difficult but this is an Ultra marathon, not a walk in the park. Bring it on!