Dyson runners in London Marathon effort to boost funds for dementia research

11 April 2017

Cheltenham-based runner Kathryn Cookson will pull on her running shoes this month to tackle the Virgin Money London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK – in memory of her grandad.

Kathryn, who works at the headquarters of Dyson’s Research and Development campus in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, will be joined by two colleagues, Nik Bartlett and Adam Brann, for the 26.2-mile race on Sunday 23 April. Kathryn has already raised more than £1,500 for Dyson’s charity partner and she hopes to boost her total even more before crossing the finish line.

Adam Brann, Kathryn Cookson and Nik Bartlett

The challenge is one of a series of fundraising events being taken on by Dyson people after the technology company selected Alzheimer’s Research UK as its chosen charity, which is a cause very close to Kathryn’s heart. The 26-year-old witnessed first-hand the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s after her grandad was diagnosed with the disease, around six years before he died. This will be the second time she has competed in the annual event in his memory and she is hoping to complete the race in under five hours.

All the funds raised by Kathryn, Nik and Adam for their efforts will be matched by the James Dyson Foundation and will be added to the total already raised by Dyson people, which is more than £81,000.

Kathryn, a Senior Business Process Analyst, said:

“It was really sad seeing my grandad with Alzheimer’s as you lose the person you know and love – they become a different person. My grandad was really good with it, he just became very smiley, but I know it affects people differently and sometimes they can become quite aggressive. I’m glad to be running the marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK, as I can do my bit to help fund a cure and hopefully prevent other people from going through this in the future.”

Speaking about the marathon, she added:

“I can’t wait for the day, although my training hasn’t gone exactly to plan. I’ve had a few issues along the way, most recently when we had our team photograph taken and I twisted my ankle! But it’s feeling much better and I’m aiming to finish the race in under five hours.”

Jade Rolph, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Kathryn, Nik and Adam for their efforts in support of our research, and we’ll be wishing them the best of luck on the day of the marathon. The money they raise will support crucial resources and equipment for our scientists, helping to bring a life-changing treatment for dementia ever closer.

“With 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, research into the condition has never been more urgently needed. We rely on donations to be able to fund our vital research, and it’s only thanks to the generosity and support of companies like Dyson that we’re able to continue our work.”

To sponsor Kathryn, Nik or Adam, please visit their fundraising pages or to learn more about Alzheimer’s Research UK go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org