News - 4th October 2022

Supporting dementia research at the London Marathon

Ben is running the London Marathon, wearing an Alzheimer's Research UK t shirt. He has his arms in the air and he is smiling, surrounded by other marathon runners.

Our friends at Alzheimer’s Research UK want to say a massive well done to everyone who completed the TCS London Marathon on Sunday.


Alzheimer’s Research UK had around 320 people completing the iconic event, including many parkrunners, as well as dozens of volunteers on the course cheering them on.


Here are a few stories of the amazing parkrunners who did the 26.2 miles in support of dementia research.


The famous Big Ben costume that became a viral sensation at the 2019 London Marathon made a comeback on Sunday thanks to Dorset GP Simon Phillips.


A man is running on a road during the London Marathon wearing a huge Big Ben costume that has a small circle cut out for his face.


The clip of Lukas Bates struggling to get through the finish line due to the height of his Elizabeth Tower costume at the 2019 race became a big hit on social media and made headlines around the world.


After the event, we saved the famous costume and this year Simon agreed to do the marathon in it.


Simon, who trained in the costume at The Great Field parkrun, had an amazing reaction from the crowd in London who loved seeing Big Ben again.


He raised money for dementia research in memory of his dad, Robert, who died with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.


Husband and wife Chris and Charm Robson shared a love of running. The Whitehaven parkrunners completed numerous races together around the world and completed the London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2012 on the day of their golden wedding anniversary.


They had hoped to complete the London Marathon again 10 years on for their diamond anniversary, but sadly Charm died in 2019.


So, this year, after winning a place through his running club, St Bees Triers, 84-year-old Chris completed the marathon in Charm’s memory in what would have been their diamond anniversary year.


Chris supported Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of his mother, Honor, who died with Alzheimer’s disease. He also supported a local hospice who cared for his wife.


Ben Hardy waited three years and trained three times before eventually making the start line on Sunday.


Ben supports dementia research in memory of his dad, George, who died with Primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia.


He had a place in the 2020 event which was cancelled due to the pandemic, so he instead did the Virtual London Marathon.


He had hoped to run in 2021, but an injury and the death of his father meant he took the decision to defer for another year.


After Ben joined our cheer squad at last year’s event, we were delighted to be able to cheer him around the streets of London this time.


If you are inspired by the participants, why not apply to do next year’s London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK? You can register here.


And don’t forget to apply for the London Marathon ballot which closes at 9pm on Friday 7 October. If you are lucky enough to get a place, we’d love you to use it to fundraise for parkrun’s official charity partner!

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