Alzheimer’s Research UK and parkrun have joined up with a trio of celebrities to call on people of all ages to take part in a running event this summer to raise funds to tackle dementia. Running Down Dementia asks participants to run 100km while raising £100 for vital dementia research.
After signing up, runners will be able to compare their distances with others interactively through the website for extra motivation and keep track of leaderboards. Runners can also join forces and compete in teams, and parkrun groups can compete for the top spot.
Celebrity entertainer Russell Grant, model and running enthusiast Nell McAndrew and BAFTA award-winning actress Vicky McClure have all signed up to urge people to take part.
Grant is a passionate supporter of dementia research as he experienced the condition first-hand when his grandmother developed Alzheimer’s disease, which left him heartbroken.
Speaking about his own fear of developing dementia. He said: “Having cared for my Nanny Alice, I’ve seen what dementia can do and of course it makes me fearful of developing it.
"I’m really looking forward to taking part in Running Down Dementia. I’ll be getting over an arthroscopy on my left knee, so I’m going to be walking down dementia! I love walking, and try to clock up 10,000 steps a day, but I know this will be a challenge, as it’s for such an important cause and I know I have to do it – I don’t want to let anyone down.”
Last year Running Down Dementia raised £220,000 with almost 4,000 runners hitting the streets, their local parks and clocking up their kilometres at parkruns every week.
Timothy Parry, director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It is sadly not surprising that dementia has been revealed as the most feared condition, alongside cancer, as it impacts so many people - one in three children born this year will develop a form of dementia during their lifetime.
“However, we are powering the fightback against dementia with world-class research but we can only do this with the backing of our supporters and so we are encouraging them to take on a personal challenge and sign up to Running Down Dementia.”
To sign up, visit the Running Down Dementia website.