Geologist takes on the mighty Everest Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK

21 April 2017

A geologist is taking on the mighty Everest Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK, in honour of his father who is living with dementia.

Mike Curtis

Mike Curtis, 48, will fly out to Nepal on 15 May, and endure 10 days of walking to Everest Base Camp, where the marathon starts, before completing the 26.2-mile race.

The Everest Marathon is the highest marathon in the world starting at 17,598ft and finishing at the village of Namche Bazar at 11,286ft.

Mike, of Thrapston, Northamptonshire, decided to raise funds for the UK’s leading dementia research charity in honour of his 77-year-old father Lance Curtis, from Neath, South Wales, who has been living with Alzheimer’s for five years.

As preparation, he has already completed the Silverstone Half Marathon and the Cambridge Half Marathon for the charity, and will be taking on the London Marathon, the Star Wars Half Marathon on 4 May, and the Oakley 20-mile race.

Also completing the Everest Marathon with Mike is his 48-year-old partner Christine, who is raising money for The Motor Neurone Disease Association in honour of her mum who died with the disease.

Christine and Mike

Mike, who is paying all costs associated with the trip, said:

“I signed up to the Everest Marathon because it’s got the wow factor. It mostly downhill but it has a couple of huge ascents. I’m determined to get to the end and I’ve calculated that I should finish in around eight hours.

“My dad was always an armchair adventurer, he loved the idea of travelling. Even though his dementia is very far advanced now, if I mention Everest he’ll say ‘the highest mountain in the world’. It is nice to know I’m fulfilling his dreams in a way.

“His Alzheimer’s is very aggressive and it has robbed him of most awareness of life. It’s sad to know he’ll have little to no understanding of all these runs we’re doing. Christine and I would like to raise £7,536 between us – a combination of the metres ascent and descent we will have to complete together. I hope it can make a huge difference.”

Mike and Christine will be keeping a blog about their challenge as they go, where donations can be made. Go to to read more.

Kenneth Foreman, Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. We are the UK’s leading dementia research charity funding pioneering research into preventions and treatments for dementia.

“We couldn’t do it without our supporters and we were absolutely thrilled to hear Mike is taking on this enormous challenge for us. We wish Mike and Christine the best of luck for the Everest Marathon.”