Brundall parkrun volunteer to take on half marathon for dementia research


By Philip Tubby | Thursday 01 March 2018

A parkrun volunteer is taking on a half marathon to raise money for dementia research in honour of her grandmother who died with Alzheimer’s disease.

Vikki Harper

Vikki Harper, from Little Plumstead, near Norwich, is one of around 300 runners signed up to run the inaugural London Landmarks Half Marathon on March 25 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The 43-year-old IT professional, who is one of the run directors for the Brundall parkrun, was inspired to support the UK’s leading dementia research charity as her grandmother died with Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago.

The mum-of-three said:

“It was really tough to see her go through it. At first her symptoms were forgetting things and confusion, but as it progressed it got to the point where she couldn’t even speak to us.

“It was particularly heartbreaking for grandad and he struggled to look after her. Eventually she had to go into a care home, which was really hard. When she died it was very upsetting, but also a relief that she wasn’t going through it anymore. My grandad died a year later. He didn’t have dementia, but I just think the whole thing took its toll on him.

“I wanted to do something in my grandparents’ memory and I’m delighted to be running the London Landmarks Half Marathon to help support dementia research.”

Vikki Harper’s grandparents

To sponsor Vikki go to

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

“Alzheimer’s Research UK is proud to be the official charity partner of parkrun, so we are delighted that Vikki is raising money for us by taking on the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

“The vital funds raised by her and the hundreds of people running for Alzheimer’s Research UK will power world-class dementia research projects and help bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”

The London Landmarks Half Marathon is a new central London run and is the only half marathon to go through both the City of London and City of Westminster. Runners will start on Pall Mall, finish by Downing Street and have fabulous views of London’s most iconic landmarks including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is one of the main charity partners for the event and will be bringing a large group of volunteers to cheer on the runners, with special activities planned at Cheapside. The cheer station will pay homage to London’s much-loved markets with traditional stalls and volunteers dressed as stallholders handing out oranges as part of the charity’s #sharetheorange campaign.

For information about joining the charity’s Cheer Squad for London Landmarks or other sporting events, go to

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit


By submitting a comment you agree to our comments policy.

Leave a Comment

About the author

Philip Tubby