Tribute to inspirational Bradford parkrunner to raise funds for dementia research

Posted on 29th April 2015

Runners at Bradford parkrun will pay tribute to much-loved Queensbury fundraiser Arthur James next month (May), at an annual memorial day that will see participants raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The committed runner, who died three years ago at the age of 76 will be honoured by his family and many friends at the Arthur James Memorial parkrun on Saturday 9 May at Lister Park in Bradford at 9am. By raising funds for pioneering dementia research, this year’s event will support parkrun’s official charity partner and a cause that Arthur had championed.

As the nation’s biggest running movement, parkrun UK organises free, weekly, 5k timed runs across the UK. The organisation’s three-year partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK aims to promote exercise as a way of reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, increase public understanding of the condition and boost funds for crucial research.

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Kim James (second from left) with other Bradford parkrunners

Arthur James was widely known in the Yorkshire running community and raised thousands of pounds for various charitable causes, including dementia research. His daughter-in-law, Kim James, is helping to organise the memorial to help continue his legacy, when a collection, a raffle for a free sports massage and a bake sale will be held to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. On the day the Arthur James Special Recognition Award will also be presented to a parkrunner who has helped encourage others to get involved in running.

Kim explained:

“Arthur started running when he was in his early 60s. When Bradford parkrun first started he was one of the first people to take part, and he was instrumental in helping it get off the ground. He inspired and encouraged so many people including his granddaughter, Vikki Lomas and six-year-old great-grandson, William Lomas, to take up running and keep healthy. He kept a little red book of all the races he did, and on the day he died he’d just received his ‘100 Club’ shirt for having taken part in 100 parkruns. Sadly he never got to wear it, and his sudden death really shocked the running community in Yorkshire.

“Arthur and I were very close and he was more like a father to me than a father-in-law. We did a lot of races and parkruns together and he was just a brilliant man and a true gent. He did so much for running and to support various charities, always wanting to help people and put something back into the community. The memorial run is our way of carrying on his memory and it gives people an opportunity to get together and remember what he did to get people running, as well as donating money to one of his favourite charities.”

Claire Priestwood, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“This is a wonderful tribute, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Kim and her fellow parkrunners for their support at this event.  Every £1 raised on the day can help provide crucial resources for our scientists, bringing new treatments, improved diagnosis and preventions closer.

“Dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK, including 5,500 in Bradford alone, yet we currently lack treatments capable of stopping diseases like Alzheimer’s in their tracks. Research has the power to transform people’s lives, and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the way in the fight against dementia. We rely on our amazing supporters to be able to fund our pioneering research, and it’s thanks to people like Kim that we can continue our work.”

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK or the charity’s partnership with parkrun and how to get involved, visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org or call 0300 111 5555. Details of Bradford parkrun and other local parkruns can be found at www.parkrun.org.uk.

Posted in Fundraising news