Prolific Bournemouth runner Colin Barrett, 80, aims to raise hundreds of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research UK when he takes part in the BUPA Great South Run on 30 October. Colin’s daughter Helen White and her friend Clare Rogers, also from Bournemouth, will join him in his fundraising efforts. The trio will be among 20,000 participants in the ten mile course in Portsmouth, in neighbouring Hampshire.
Colin took up running at the age of 52. Since then he’s taken part in hundreds of running competitions in different parts of the world, including 23 marathons. He celebrated his 80th birthday on 1 October while visiting family in Australia. They arranged the perfect birthday surprise for him – an 8K run along the Brisbane seafront with over 30 friends and relatives.
Colin, a retired British Aerospace electrical engineer, talked about the BUPA Great South Run and his inspiration for supporting the UK’s leading dementia research charity:
“I’ve completed the Great South Run several times now. It’s a fantastic course and I’m really looking forward to it. But raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK is a first. Since my mother-in-law Elizabeth was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s opened my eyes to the dreadful lack of money for research.
“Running has given me a new lease of life. It even led me to meet my wife Sarah 20 years ago. We were both on our way to the New York Marathon. Sarah is a triathlete and 15 years my junior. She gained a silver medal in the World Triathlon Championships in Beijing this September. Her mother, now 87, would be so proud of her achievements – but no sooner we tell her something, the next instant it’s forgotten.
“Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease, robbing people of their precious memories. My mother-in-law tried to live independently up until a year ago, but everyday tasks became more and more of a struggle. She now lives in a specialist care home near us in Southbourne. I’m so pleased to be doing something positive to help Alzheimer’s Research UK fund more vital research and give hope to future generations.”
Miranda Mays, Community Fundraising Manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re thrilled that Colin, Helen and Clare are supporting us by taking on the BUPA Great South Run and we wish them success. Every £20 they raise will pay for another hour of pioneering research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
“Over 6,500 people in Dorset are living with dementia today but funding for research lags far behind other serious diseases. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future. Research is the only answer but we rely entirely on our wonderful supporters.”
To help Colin, Helen and Clare raise funds for crucial dementia research, donate online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/GreatSouthRun2011 or call the fundraising team at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 01223 843899.