Good luck to all our TEAM ARUK runners


By Laura Pearson-Clark | Friday 11 April 2014

It’s the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on Sunday. After months of training, a team of 64 fantastic Alzheimer’s Research UK runners (TEAM ARUK) will don their purple running vests with pride as they join over 37,500 people for the 26.2 mile race.  Last year our runners raised an incredible £113,500, enough to fund almost four complete pilot research projects. Every £20 raised this year will pay for another vital hour of research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent treat and cure dementia.

We wanted to send TEAM ARUK a very special message:

The Alzheimer’s Research UK Cheering Squad will be there, just past mile 14 on Narrow Street to help our runners along the way and show our support.

Here are some of the inspirational stories behind just a few of our fantastic runners.

Susie Hewer

Susie-HewerDetermined runner Susie Hewer could stitch her way into the history books at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon while boosting funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The flame-haired fundraiser, from Ewhurst Green in East Sussex, will attempt to beat her own Guinness World Record for creating the longest crochet chain while running a marathon. As ever Susie, known as ‘The Extreme Knitting Redhead’, will run in memory of her mum, Peggy, who died with vascular dementia in 2005, aged 89.

Sian Hayward

sian-haywardThe daughter of Welsh rugby legend Dai Hayward will tackle this year’s marathon in his memory, fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Sian Hayward, who lives in Monmouthshire, hopes to raise at least £1,800 by completing the course. Dai, who won six caps for Wales, lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003, aged just 69.

Viv Hill

viv-hillDedicated Medway fundraiser Vivienne Hill will run the Virgin Money London Marathon in a floor-length ball gown to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The sentimental dress was made by the Chatham Maritime resident’s mother, Mary, who died in 2010 after a long struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Vivienne, 49, had to shed one-and-a-half stone to fit into the gown and started her weight-loss challenge shortly after signing up for the race last year. She hopes to raise over £2,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity in her mother’s memory.

Kevin Zokay-West

Kevin-Zokay-WestKevin Zokay-West, a supermarket manager from Potters Bar signed up for the marathon just months after his mother, Winnie, lost a three-year battle with vascular dementia, aged 72. Kevin, a manager of a north London branch of Iceland Foods, hopes to raise at least £2,000 in her memory.

Peter Roycroft

Peter-RoycroftAn Amersham energy worker will tackle this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in memory of his mother to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Peter Roycroft signed up six days after ‘the matriarch of the family’, Jean Roycroft, died with combined vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease last year, aged 89. The 57 year old hopes to raise at least £1,800.

Fergus Graham

Fergus-GrahamThe former junior GB rower from Whitchurch, Hampshire, will run this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in support of his uncle, Jamie, from Dauntsey in Wiltshire, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at just 59. He hopes to raise at least £5,000.

Martin Mitchener

Martin-MitchenerA personal trainer from Westerham, Kent, will tackle this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in memory of his grandma to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Martin Mitchener signed up after Yvonne Mitchener, from Beckenham, died with vascular dementia last year. The 26 year old father-of-one hopes to raise at least £1,800.

Kelly Hall

Kelly-HallKelly Hall, from Histon, Cambridgeshire, will mark her 40th birthday on Sunday 13 April by running the Virgin London Marathon. Kelly, who admitted she had not run since her school days, said it was ‘written in the stars’ when the race date landed on her landmark birthday. She signed up for the marathon just eight weeks after her dad, Peter Radford, died with Alzheimer’s disease, aged 70. Kelly hopes to raise £2,620 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity – £100 for every mile run – in his memory.

Darren Austin

Darren-AustinA Lincolnshire dad-of-two will run his second Virgin Money London Marathon in a row for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Darren Austin, an area manager with Iceland Foods, raised £1,500 in 2013. And despite saying he would never enter the gruelling 26.2-mile race across the capital again, the 34 year old, from Witham St Hughs, has signed up for a second time. This year Darren hopes to raise £4,000 towards pioneering dementia research.

Lorraine Geoghegan

Lorraine-GeogheganA freelance TV producer who helped create an iconic Hovis advert is raising dough for Alzheimer’s Research UK on Sunday. During the race, Lorraine Geoghegan, 38, from Dublin, will be spurred on by thoughts of her 69-year-old dad, Joe. The former mechanic, who lives with his wife Martha in Slane, County Meath, began experiencing memory loss and personality changes shortly after retirement three years ago. By completing the iconic run, Lorraine hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the leading dementia research charity.

Thank you TEAM ARUK for your incredible support.

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Laura Pearson-Clark