Runner takes on 100km in one day for Alzheimer’s Research UK
By Simon Aucott | Tuesday 08 August 2017
A runner from Wadebridge has completed 100km in one day to raise money for the UK’s leading dementia research charity, in memory of her grandma.
Harriet Frost, 29, decided to take up Alzheimer’s Research UK’s fundraising campaign, Running Down Dementia, which encourages participants to run 100km and raise £100 over the summer, after sadly losing her 90-year-old grandmother Eileen to vascular dementia just a month ago.
While most people would require the whole summer to complete the challenge, Harriet powered through all 100km in 14 hours after taking on the Race to the Stones ultramarathon.
Harriet described the run, which saw her tackle 100km across the North Wessex Downs in Oxfordshire from Lewknor to the Thames crossing at Goring, as the toughest race she’s ever done.
Harriet said: “When I signed up to do the Race to the Stones 100km ultramarathon only three months ago I just saw it as my next challenge. I had not intended to raise money, but days away from my race we sadly lost my grandma to dementia. The timing of seeing Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Running Down Dementia campaign seemed a little too close to home to not try to do something to help, so that fewer people in the future have to experience this horrible condition.
“My grandma was a strongly independent woman, bringing up four children singlehandedly after being sadly widowed. I can definitely vouch for her passing down some fiercely tough, gritty genes. Her eldest daughter, my mother, had two double hip replacements and last year spent her 60th year competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Australia, a gruelling 70.3 mile triathlon.
“Following in my mum and grandma’s footsteps has led me to want to push the boundaries, prove you can always do more and go above and beyond what you initially think possible. My mum set the running bar high with her numerous London Marathon ‘good for age’ times, so I decided to skip the marathon and go straight for two-and-a-half times the distance with my 100km this month.
“My 100km journey started as a solo challenge but couldn’t have ended without the support of so many unexpected, amazing people. Step-by-step support with words of encouragement before, during and after my long 14-hour-and-four-minute journey, heartfelt messages on my t-shirt to help me through the day and the donations to Alzheimer’s Research UK to help the much bigger journey. My 100km run was tough but life is tough sometimes and I got through it with a few tears, hugs from my mum throughout, and the thought of my grandma’s resilience throughout her life.”
Harriet has already smashed her target of £100 and raised over £700, with much of her sponsorship coming from Elder, a company which specialises in providing live-in carers. To donate to her fundraising page go to https://runningdowndementia2017.everydayhero.com/uk/harriet-090717
Kenneth Foreman, Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We can’t thank Harriet enough for taking on such a momentous challenge as part of Running Down Dementia in honour of her grandma.
“The money she has raised will go to our pioneering scientists’ research projects across the UK to find preventions and treatments for dementia. We couldn’t do it without our supporters.”
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. To play your part to help defeat dementia, sign up to Running Down Dementia at www.runningdowndementia.org