Mum and daughter tell their story in video for Running Down Dementia


By Alice Tuohy | Tuesday 01 May 2018

A mum and daughter from Mid Sussex are the stars of a new video promoting a national fundraising campaign for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Zara and Rachel Bishop

Zara and Rachel Bishop

Rachel Bishop and her 10-year-old daughter Zara, from Balcombe, were asked to tell their story in a film for the Running Down Dementia challenge as they were among the top fundraisers for the campaign last year.

The duo were inspired to sign up for the challenge as Rachel’s mum and Zara’s grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease.

The award-winning campaign, which launched for a third year at the beginning of April, challenges people to run or walk 100km before August 31 and raise £100 for pioneering dementia research.

Zara ran the full 100km, while Rachel managed an incredible 1,000km. The duo raised nearly £1,500.

Zara Bishop

Zara Bishop

Rachel, 45, said:

“My mum was diagnosed with dementia three years ago. It was a shock for all of us because she was a very fit and active lady. To see the changes in her was really shocking.

“Taking part in Running Down Dementia was fantastic for us as a family. We’d been through so much that has been so negative, so it was great to be able to do something positive.”

Zara said:

“I feel very proud that I ran the 100km and I’m very proud to be in the film. I hope lots of people take part in Running Down Dementia this year.”

You can watch Rachel & Zara’s video, along with videos about other inspirational runners, at

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

“We had a great time filming with Rachel and Zara.

“They are brilliant supporters of Running Down Dementia and we hope their story encourages lots of people to sign up for the challenge.

“There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK is on a mission to end the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia. Each and every runner who takes part in Running Down Dementia is striking a blow in the battle against dementia.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK first launched Running Down Dementia in 2016. Since then it has raised around £470,000 – enough to enable the charity to fund two major research projects. Last year more than 4,000 people signed up for the challenge and they clocked up 367,178km – more than nine times the circumference of the Earth.

The challenge is open to everyone, regardless of age or fitness. There is no right or wrong way to complete the 100km, and participants can split up the distance into whatever chunks they like.

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.

To sign up for Running Down Dementia 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


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Alice Tuohy