Runners fly the flag for dementia research in Chariots of Fire

TBH LP - Image 4
TBH LP - Image 4

By Philip Tubby | Tuesday 19 September 2017

Glittered brows, orange tutus and more than 2,000 pairs of trainers hit the streets of Cambridge and some of its most famous colleges during the Chariots of Fire race on Sunday 17 September.

A total of 333 teams of six took part in the famous relay race with many of those raising vital funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The UK’s leading dementia research charity, which is based just outside the city, was the official charity partner for this year’s event which started and finished on Queens’ Green with the route passing through a number of University of Cambridge colleges.

The race was started by Olympian Goldie Sayer who presented the winning teams with their trophies.

Runners and their families were also treated to a performance by Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Harry Gardner.  He sang a song he wrote about his nan Maureen, called Not Alone, which has raised more than £15,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

He said:

“It was great to play Not Alone in front of so many people taking part in Chariots of Fire to raise money for dementia research.

“I know the more we do to raise the profile of dementia and raise funds for vital research the closer we get to making a difference to future generations so they don’t have to go through what my family has been through.”

The money raised through sponsorship will help fund a pioneering brain imaging project at the University of Cambridge. It will provide researchers with a better understanding of the links between Alzheimer’s and Down’s syndrome to identify the windows of opportunity for future preventative treatments that could benefit everyone affected by the disease.

A team of dementia researchers based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital were among those who took part in the event, while members of staff from Alzheimer’s Research UK also formed two teams.

The charity’s Chief Scientific Officer David Reynolds was part of one of those teams. He said:

“It was a fun race and a privilege to run alongside Russell Ramsey who has Down’s Syndrome and is taking part in the study the race is funding.

“It is brilliant to see so many people supporting a local project, especially as it could reveal key information that will help us tackle Alzheimer’s disease and ultimately find treatments that could stop the disease in its tracks.

“Thank you to everyone who ran for us and if you haven’t already, it’s not too late to donate!”

Chariots of Fire is organised by Hewitsons Charitable Trust, the charity established and supported by Solicitors Hewitsons LLP, and backed by the Cambridge News. All donations and sponsorship money are requested to be received by the end of December 2017.

To donate or find out more about Alzheimer’s Research UK and its research please visit


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Philip Tubby