Around the world in 100km! Globe-trotting business owner takes on Running Down Dementia

03 July 2018

A Berkshire businessman has put an international spin on Running Down Dementia by clocking up the kilometres during business trips around the world.

Richard Earls

Richard Earls

Richard Earls, from Wokingham, was inspired to sign up for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Running Down Dementia campaign, which challenges participants to run 100km before the end of August and raise £100, as his father has Alzheimer’s disease.

Richard, who runs antique textile archive business Jacaranda Archives Ltd with his wife Deby, has been doing a lot of his running during trips to visit clients around the world, including in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York in the United States, Journet in France and Amsterdam in Holland. The 60-year-old also braved scorching heat to run while on holiday in Tulum and Cancun in Mexico.

Richard Earls - New York Holland Tunnel Building

Richard Earls – New York Holland Tunnel Building

Having completed 100km, he is now aiming to reach 300km. He is among the top fundraisers for the challenge, having raised more than £1,000.

The father-of-three said:

“It’s been great running past some amazing sights. Running along the marina at San Francisco towards the Golden Gate Bridge was very special, as was running by the Hudson River in New York and looking across to where Frank Sinatra was born.

“Running in Mexico was the toughest. The humidity was terrifying. I ran on the beach once but that was a killer. After that I ran on the main drag by the hotel which had trees giving some shade. If I ran at 7am it was only 28 degrees!”

Richard Earls' dad Jim Earls

Richard Earls’ dad Jim Earls

Richard’s father, Jim, 85, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease around 10 years ago. He is well known in his community having been a Cub Scout leader and was the District Commissioner for Cubs in Wokingham. He was also chairman of Bracknell & Wokingham Swimming Club and negotiated the club’s move to Bracknell Leisure Centre in the 1970s.

Richard said:

“He was a very civic-minded person. He expressed his care and love for people by sticking his hand up and volunteering. There are so many people in the area who will have benefitted from his voluntary work.

“Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease. My dad is no longer the man he was. He just switched off like a light.

“He still lives at home with my mum. He doesn’t know he has Alzheimer’s and is happy, but it is tough for my mum as he totally relies on her.”

Richard is among more than 4,400 people taking part in Running Down Dementia this summer. They have so far run more than 215,000km and raised over £210,000.

Megan Ruddlesden, Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are delighted Richard has taken on the Running Down Dementia challenge. We are enjoying hearing about and seeing pictures from his runs around the world.

“Richard and the thousands of people who are taking part in Running Down Dementia are striking a blow in the battle against dementia. The vital funds raised will power world-class dementia research projects and help bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”

To sponsor Richard go to https://runningdowndementia2018.everydayhero.com/uk/richard-9

The Running Down Dementia challenge, which is now in its third year, is open to everyone, regardless of age or fitness.

When someone signs up they create their own supporter page where people can see how they are getting on and sponsor them. Participants can connect tracking apps such as Strava or MapMyFitness to their supporter page to track and record their activity or can manually add runs or walks.

To sign up for Running Down Dementia go to www.runningdowndementia.org/register

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org