A woman from Preston has completed a 200km challenge called Running Down Dementia.Advertisement
Katrina Taylor covered the distance from Preston to Coventry over 50 days to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, after her grandfather was diagnosed with dementia last year.
Katrina said: “I decided to take up running as a complete novice during lockdown. In April I couldn’t run for longer than 30 seconds at a time, but I stuck to a strict plan and within two months I was reaching up to 5km per run.
“I’ve been running all over the city. On some of the longer runs I’ve started at the Docks, gone through Ashton Park and into Haslam Park, along Blackpool Road to Moor Park and back to the Docks.
“My shorter 5ks will consist of joining the Guild Wheel at the Docks, running down the river towards Penwortham and then back through Avenham Park.”
Katrina’s favourite run was along the River Ribble up to the Capitol Centre, looping back round the other side of the river.
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During lockdown, Katrina has been unable to visit her grandparents. She said she has seen her grandad deteriorate rapidly whilst her nana has had to become his sole carer.
“My nana has been the sole carer for my grandad during lockdown, as restrictions were in place and both of them have been too afraid to let anybody in their home,” she added.
“I’ve seen the effect this has had on my nana mentally, whilst also coming to terms with the global pandemic. Although I couldn’t enter their home to help with caring for my grandad physically, I still wanted to feel like I was doing something. I decided to take on the Running Down Dementia challenge and set myself a goal of 200km in 50 days.
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“The running has been hard but I’m sure it is nowhere near as hard as caring for a dementia patient during lockdown, and that’s the thought that has got me through the more painful runs.”
When Katrina set her goal, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to complete it but after receiving her first donation, this spurred her on to run the full distance.
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Katrina has raised over £600 for the charity and completed her challenge on Thursday (27 August), celebrating with a Domino’s pizza.
“It felt truly amazing to reach £600 and even more amazing to reach 200km – I still can’t fathom how far that is and don’t believe I’ve actually completed it.”
You can donate to the cause via Katrina’s fundraising page.
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Have you seen Katrina out on one of her runs around the city? Let us know in the comments below.