We know how much parkrunners love bringing their dogs to their weekly run, and for one Alzheimer’s Research UK supporter, Nicky Rothwell, having her dog Jacob there by her side has made her running experience even more enjoyable.
This summer, Nicky and Jacob signed up to Running Down Dementia, Alzheimer’s Research UK’s virtual fundraising campaign challenging participants to run 100km and raise £100, after Nicky’s father Ronald Hammond was recently diagnosed with dementia and autism.
As Jacob is very much part of the family, and as he often comes along with Nicky on her runs, Nicky wanted to make sure the Irish Red and White Setter played his own part in defeating dementia, and now they have already completed 150 miles (241km) of their 1,000mile (1,609km) goal together. The duo have also raised an impressive £261 for vital dementia research. Fur-Nominal!
This Father’s Day, on Sunday, Nicky will be honouring her dad by taking Jacob out on a 10km run to help her Running Down Dementia fundraising, and give her time to reflect.
Nicky, who lives in Telford, said: My father has recently been diagnosed with dementia. During discussions with many doctors and specialists, it was also apparent that the diagnosis of OCD as a child would now be diagnosed as autism. I love my father very much and I know how hard life has been for him throughout the years, so to be hit with dementia as well is just heartbreaking and I’m absolutely devastated. It’s tough for people on Father’s Day who have lost or are losing their father, which is why I want to do something proactive to help beat the disease which is taking my father away from me.
“My father is not the only one I know who has been hit by dementia. I have also had to watch other family members and close friends lose their loved ones to this debilitating condition too. Because of this, I decided it was time to get off my backside and participate in raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, in order to help the fight against dementia.
“As my friends know, I already do a lot of running and walking with Jacob, so when I read about Running Down Dementia 2017 it was clear to me that I should turn my miles into money. It was also clear that I needed a greater challenge than 100km, so I set myself the goal of completing 1,000 miles between now and October, and I’m hoping to run the majority of it. At the moment I run up to eight miles (13km) twice a week with Jacob, so to run every day will be a big challenge for both of us. But we’re excited to complete the challenge together and appreciate all the support we’ve been given. I’m hoping to get a pound for every mile.”
To donate to Nicky’s fundraising page click here.
If the thought of running 100km makes your dog tired, there’s no need to get hot under the collar. Just remember you can set your own challenge, and are free to walk, run, skip or hop the whole way round if you want to!
To sign yourself (and your dogs!) up for Running Down Dementia, click here.
If you run with a pet, or are completing your Running Down Dementia journey in a quirky way, we want to hear about it. Tweet us using the hashtag #RunningDownDementia, or email us.
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