You're at the start of something huge. So get ready to be one of the people who makes Running Down Dementia so special.
We’ve all got different reasons for getting involved, join #RunningDownDementia to share your story – and get inspired by your fellow runners.
Kirsty found taking part in Running Down Dementia helped with the grieving process after losing her mum to Alzheimer’s disease.
The 40-year-old, from Northampton, had had a tough year after her mum died in May 2017, but she found getting fit through running and raising money for a cause so important to her gave her a big boost.
The teaching assistant was not a runner when she signed up for the challenge and was not sure if she would be able to reach her 100km target. She started out by walking but was soon able to up her pace and eventually went on to complete double her target.
She said: “When Mum developed Alzheimer’s it was heartbreaking. It’s indescribable to see someone you love, who knew you inside out, no longer recognise you.
“I thought the disease had prepared me for no longer having Mum around as I felt like I had lost her long before, but when she passed away it hit me a lot harder than I thought it would.
“Running Down Dementia just seemed to come at the right time for me. It was great as it helped me personally while also giving something back.”
Having started running regularly at the start of last year, Jo found Running Down Dementia a great way to stay motivated.
The 31-year-old, who lives in South London, took on the challenge in memory of her grandfather who passed away four years ago with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jo, who works in digital marketing, said: “He loved chocolate-covered Brazil nuts, whiskey, tapestry, watching war films, talking with his friends about his time in the Navy, pottering in his garden, writing his memoirs and spending time with his family, who all miss him very much.
“He would always answer the question ‘how are you’ with ‘I’m a ball of fire’. Even through dementia, even when he sometimes couldn't remember who we were or where he was, he never forgot that. He was always ‘a ball of fire’. So when I run I feel like I’m ‘a ball of fire’.
“I started running again in the January having not really enjoyed it before. Running Down Dementia was great for keeping me motivated. It was great to turn something I was doing already into something to help such an important cause.”
Taking on the Running Down Dementia challenge helped reignite Joel’s love of running.
Joel, who works as a bid coordinator for executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, a corporate partner of Alzheimer’s Research UK, completed the 100km challenge in 100 days.
The 23-year-old, who lives in North London, said: “I was inspired to take part in Running Down Dementia after attending a talk from Alzheimer’s Research UK at our London head office. Learning about the effects of dementia, not only on the person but their family and friends, inspired me to get involved.
“It was a rough summer in my personal life and the challenge proved a great release from my day-to-day worries.
“By the end of the challenge I had raised over £200, managed to run quite a few 5ks and 6ks without stopping, and had reignited my love for running.”