Ben Parker, who was running Sunday’s London Marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research, completed the race in 4 hours 40 minutes.
Ben (27) had been hoping to break the four-hour barrier, but Sunday’s hot weather was a problem for many runners, including Ben.
The London Marathon run was the culmination of a fund-raising campaign by the Hurn family of The Maltings, which aimed to raise £6,000. That target has been surpassed, with around £6,700 in the bank so far.
The campaign is in memory of Elizabeth Hurn’s mother and father, who both suffered from Alzheimer’s. Ben is the boyfriend of her daughter Alice and both women were in London on Sunday, along with Elizabeth’s son, Bradley, to see the race and support Ben.
“We had an absolutely fantastic day, the atmosphere was great,” said Elizabeth.
“We saw Ben at mile 14 and he was fine, smiling and going well at about target speed; we then saw him again at mile 21 and he look a bit tired and extremely hot.
“The organisers had installed showers around the course, which he’d used and he then walked for a short distance. We tried to get to mile 23/24 but had to queue for 30 minutes to get into the station so we went straight to Horse Guards Parade and met him there. He looked exhausted.”
Elizabeth says Ben’s efforts have placed him fifth out of 308 runners raising money for the Alzheimer’s charity, with more money still to come in.
“I still can’t believe people’s generosity,” she said.
Ben had wanted to run the London Marathon for some time and when his entry was accepted for this year’s race, he was clear he wanted to run in memory of Elizabeth’s parents and to raise money to help people who will suffer from Alzheimer’s in future.
“Experiencing the immense difficulty and sadness the family had to go through because of Alzheimer’s was heart-breaking,” he said. “Alzheimer’s leads to the death of nerve cells and the loss of brain tissue. I was not aware that one in six people over the age of 80 develop this disease, yet there is still no comprehensive understanding of the connection with genetic inheritance and no definitive way of completely removing your chances of diagnosis.”
If anyone wants to support the Hurn family’s fund-raising, you can give online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben26.