Wickes staff in London Marathon effort to boost funds for dementia research

18 April 2017

Watford runner Gary Venn will pull on his running shoes this month to tackle the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Gary, who works at the Wickes Support Centre in Watford will be joined by colleagues Sam Wood and John Adams for the 26.2-mile race on Sunday 23 April. The group will be spurred on by thoughts of friends and family members who have been affected by dementia. The runners have pledged to raise £10,000 for Wickes’ charity partner, with the help of three other colleagues who are entering a Tough Mudder Half Marathon.

The challenge is one of a series of fundraising events being taken on by Wickes, after colleagues at the home improvement retailer voted for Alzheimer’s Research UK to become their charity partner. Gary, 44, who is hoping to complete the race in under four and a half hours, has been kept motivated by his three children who have been joining him on his evening runs.

Gary said:

“It’s been really nice to be able to involve my children in my training. I’ll go out for a run when I get home from work and then they will join me for the last couple of laps. They are 12, seven and five, so it’s good to see they are keeping healthy and they’ll be coming to London on the day to support me. While I don’t think I’m going to win, I’m going to give it my all as I don’t think I’ll be doing it again!”

Speaking about why he decided to enter, Gary added: “Dementia needs to be a priority. People are getting older and living longer, so the condition is going to become more prevalent yet we still do not have a cure. I know a few people who have been affected by dementia and it is what scares me the most about getting older. Alzheimer’s Research UK is such a good cause and I want to do my bit to help.”

Kate Moss, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Gary, Sam and John for their efforts in support of our research, and we’ll be wishing them the best of luck on the day of the marathon. The money they raise will support crucial resources and equipment for our scientists, helping to bring a life-changing treatment for dementia ever closer.

“With more than 14,000 people living with dementia in Hertfordshire alone, research into the condition has never been more urgently needed. We rely on donations to be able to fund our vital research, and it’s only thanks to the generosity and support of people like the staff at Wickes that we’re able to continue our work.”

To sponsor Gary and the team, visit https://wickes-alzheimers-research-uk.everydayhero.com/uk/letsdoarunner or to learn more about Alzheimer’s Research UK go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org