On The Run

My name is Laura, and in a moment of madness this year, I signed up for the Great North Run in aid of the Alzheimer's Society.

Thursday, 10th March 2016, 4:04 pm
Laura Kay is getting ready to run as she takes on the Great North Run in aid of the Alzheimer's Society.
Laura Kay is getting ready to run as she takes on the Great North Run in aid of the Alzheimer's Society.

I wonder if I was, in fact, suffering from a fleeting attack of dementia myself as I seem to have forgotten that at best I can slowly shuffle my way around 5km on a good day – a long way from the 21.08km (13.1 miles) that make up the half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields.

I am still not quite sure how it is that I have signed up to run this race, but perhaps the clue lies in the fact that I have been promising I would sign up next year for at least the past three years now. By the time September rolls around, I will be 35 years old. If I don’t take this leap into the unknown now, I am not sure I ever will.

Running in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society is spurring me on.

Dementia can happen to anyone, and there’s currently no cure. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and that number is set to rise to a million by 2021.

I have seen the damage dementia causes and the havoc left in its wake, and I am absolutely petrified that it might one day be my fate.

I am, therefore, running for this charity with selfish motivation, hopeful that this small effort on its behalf might help lead to a turning point in finding a cure as the Alzheimer’s Society’s ultimate goal is to achieve a world without dementia.

Equally important, however, is that the society believes passionately that life doesn’t end when dementia begins.

The charity is there for anyone affected by dementia and does everything in its power to keep people with dementia connected to their lives and those who matter most to them. I hope to find out more about the society and the work it does over the coming months.

Supporting such a worthwhile cause is keeping me going, but sadly I cannot attend Tweed Striders or other local groups for support.

I believe there are a number of people from Berwick and the surrounding area doing the run, and I would love to hear from you if you fancy buddying up.

I am lucky enough to have fitness-orientated friends that will help guide me along the way, including the lovely Morag Smith who has promised to pummel me into shape. I tried explaining that round is a shape, but apparently it’s not the optimal one for running.

Each week, you can follow my progress in this column, and see where my running shoes take me on my journey to the run’s finishing line.

Any help would be welcomed, and you can also show your support by donating online at www.justgiving.com/berwickberriGNR