I started jogging and I’ve simply never looked back

Jameson Robinson (44) from Whiteley who will be taking part in 30 10k runs and raising money for the Cosham-based Elizabeth Foundation
Jameson Robinson (44) from Whiteley who will be taking part in 30 10k runs and raising money for the Cosham-based Elizabeth Foundation
Portsmouth & Southsea railway station by Andy Cooper

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Jameson Robinson will be 45 next month. The next day, by way of a bizarre celebration, he will start running a 300-kilometre marathon.

Each day from June 11 until July 10 he will run 10km. That’s 10 kilometres a day for 30 consecutive days.

Why? It goes without saying that he’s a running nut. Just as well really.

But this year he has a special reason for covering this specific distance in that exact number of days.

That reason is his 17-year-old son Jeff, who at 10 months old was diagnosed with a profound loss of hearing.

Between 1995 and 1998 Jeff went to the nationally-renown Elizabeth Foundation at Cosham for newly-born children, toddlers and pre-school children who are deaf or hard of hearing. In September it will be 30 years old.

There Jeff learned to lip-read, listen and speak with the aid of a cochlear implant.

Often referred to as a bionic ear, that operation was carried out at Nottingham University Hospitals’ cochlear implant programme.

The hospital is 300km from Portsmouth.

Jameson is no stranger to fund-raising for the Elizabeth Foundation. He has run the London 10k every year for it since 2002, raising more than £1,000 each time. His best time over the distance is 39 minutes.

His marathon of marathons this year will end with that event and, he hopes, with sponsorship hitting his £3,000 target.

Jeff is now studying for his A-levels at the Mary Hare School for deaf children at Newbury.

One of his subjects is music. He plays drums in a band called Insert Band Name and also knows his way around lead guitar.

Jameson said: ‘It’s the best way I can think of to say thank you to the foundation who gave Jeff such an incredible start in life,’ he said. ‘A start that at one point we thought would never be possible.’

The foundation has had such a huge impact on the Robinson family’s life that Jameson’s wife Alison is the fundraising manager at Cosham.

Jameson, of Clydesdale Road, Whiteley, commutes to Watford, Hertfordshire, where he works at the head office of pub chain JD Wetherspoon creating dishes for their menus. He stays over some nights and will do some of his runs there.

‘They will be a mixture of runs outside on the road or in the gym. I’m a member of the David Lloyd gym at Port Solent and they’ve also got one in Watford which is rather handy.

‘I want each run to be measured exactly. That’s easy on a running machine in the gym but I’ve also measured outdoor 10k distances precisely both at home and in Watford.’

Jameson came to running late. ‘I only took it up about 10 years ago. I was in my mid-30s and I wanted to get healthier and eat more healthily.

‘I’d never run seriously before so I started jogging and I’ve simply never looked back. I love it. It’s a form of relaxation which helps you get your life and work into perspective.

‘In the gym it’s sociable. You’ve also got lots of TVs to keep you entertained.

‘But outside, apart from dodging the traffic, it’s nice to get the sights and sounds around you especially during the better weather.’

We talk about the layout for an impressive model railway under construction at the family home, a project being built by the couple’s other son, 13-year-old Elliot, who is not deaf.

‘To this day we don’t know why Jeff is deaf. Nobody else in the family is deaf. Obviously it came as a huge shock and shortly after he was diagnosed we moved to Fareham so we could be close to the Elizabeth Foundation.

‘It came highly recommended as being able to help us understand about Jeff’s difficulties and what our options were to give him the best start in life.

‘The main focus there was on developing his speech and oral skills as opposed to the other main option which was sign language. Alison and I both took sign language classes but we really wanted to go down the oral and mainstream schooling route.

‘It was a big decision for us to take to go for the cochlear implant. Nottingham has an extremely high success rate, but it’s still a major operation.

‘So Jeff was four when he first started to hear. What he hears is synthesised electrical hearing.

‘Background noise is an issue, but in a good listening environment he can have a fairly good conversation and he certainly loves going to gigs where, if he knows the band and their music, he really enjoys it. If it’s music he’s not familiar with, it’s not so good.’

And then like any parent he adds: ‘In the house we can call up to him in his bedroom and he’ll hear us... if he doesn’t have his music on.’

It’s a sentence that Jameson Robinson probably once thought he’d never utter.

n To sponsor Jameson go to justgiving.com/ threehundredk