“I’ve decided to take on the Snowdonia marathon for NASS to support the great work they do to help raise awareness of AS and help towards living with the condition, in particular, assisting with getting the right diagnosis at an early stage.”
When Gary Mason was diagnosed with axial SpA in 2019, he thought he might have to give up running, which he has enjoyed throughout his life. He shares a summary of his journey to diagnosis and why he is taking on the Snowdonia marathon this October for NASS.
Here’s his story.
I have always been an active and keen runner and enjoyed taking on challenges such as The Ennerdale Horseshoe Fell Race and Great North Run. However, in September 2019, I started to experience pain aches in the groin, which I initially put down to the running, but it gradually got worse and started to affect my hip too.
After months of various appointments with the physio, Joint Musculoskeletal and Pain Service (JMAPS) and my GP and an initial diagnosis of arthritis (but still feeling frustrated and dejected), I ended up getting a private MRI scan arranged through a mountain running specialist physio via a runner’s Facebook group which showed I had partially fused sacroiliac joints.
I was finally diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis after my GP referred me to a Rheumatologist. Initially, the diagnosis was quite daunting, but the doctor explained that with the right management, medication and exercise I could still live well with the condition. Which was a relief because it meant I could still keep up with my running!
I’ve decided to take on the Snowdonia marathon for NASS to support the great work they do to help raise awareness of AS and help towards living with the condition, in particular, assisting with getting the right diagnosis at an early stage.