Running Down Dementia


By Katy McIntosh | Monday 22 August 2016

If you’re looking to get fit this summer, there’s no better motivation than Alzheimer’s Research UK’s latest challenge, Running Down Dementia.

Launched in collaboration with parkrun, which offers free timed 5km runs across the country every weekend, Running Down Dementia challenges participants to run 100km over the summer and raise £100 for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Sounds simple, right?

If you’re up for the challenge, all you need to do is register for free, connect your tracking app, pledge to raise at least £100 for dementia research, and get running!


That’s exactly what one woman from Bury did, and she’s already passed the halfway mark of 50km and raised an incredible £1,600!

Elianne Hawley and mum Diane Byrne

Elianne Hawley and mum Diane Byrne

Elianne Hawley, a television and theatre actress, was inspired to take part in Running Down Dementia after her mum was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. This is a relatively rare form of dementia which can change a person’s behaviour and personality dramatically. She was just 67 when she was diagnosed.

Although it can be hard to fit in running when looking after two young children and working, Elianne knew she wanted to help support dementia research.

She said: “I’m determined to stop others from having to go through what we are. Since my mum was diagnosed, I’ve found so many people who have been touched by dementia. I want to see us find something that can beat the condition once and for all.”

Feeling inspired? Check out our Running Down Dementia leaderboards here and see who’s run the furthest and raised the most. Can you beat our top runners?

If you’re already signed up, you can find lots of handy fundraising ideas on our website. Why not hold a coffee morning, bake sale or quiz night? The goal is the same for everyone – but it’s up to you how you get there!

The money you raise will help us to power world class dementia research, so that one day we can beat this devastating condition.

Be sure to share your running pictures on Twitter using the hashtag #RunningDownDementia or join our friendly Facebook community.

Happy running!

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About the author

Katy McIntosh

Team: Fundraising