A determined dental hygienist is following in the footsteps of her beloved stepfather to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Morpeth Mum Sarah Hunter has signed up for her first marathon to raise more than £2,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The 38-year-old, who has already smashed her target, has been inspired to take part in the event by her stepfather Len Millership.
Mr Millership, 65, was a keen runner and himself completed the London Marathon in just over two-and-a-half hours. However, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year, and despite completing a recent training run with Ms Hunter, he has been forced to leave his running days behind.
Ms Hunter said: “My fantastic stepfather Len has inspired me to run my first ever marathon, and I can say hand on heart that I’m terrified, but excited too.
“Len has been in my life for 30 years and introduced me to running in my late teens. Sadly, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year, something that has been creeping on since his early 60s.
“All the money I raise from the London Marathon will go to Alzheimer’s Research UK to help their scientists find the treatments so desperately needed to stop this devastating disease in its tracks.”
She added: “Len always enjoyed keeping fit and was a keen runner. In fact, he completed the London Marathon in amazing time — just over two-and-a-half hours. Nowadays, although he’s still very mobile, he easily trips and bumps into things.
“He keeps asking if he can train with me and we ran two miles together recently, which was wonderful, but I had to have eyes in the back of my head to make sure he didn’t fall over. It’s heartbreaking seeing him struggle with everyday things.
“I won’t be speeding around the London Marathon course like Len used to, but I want to make him proud when I cross that finishing line. It’s great knowing I’ll be raising much-needed money for Alzheimer’s Research UK and giving hope to many other people like Len and their families.”
I won’t be speeding around the London Marathon course like Len used to, but I want to make him proud when I cross that finishing line.Sarah Hunter
The marathon is on April 26. To sponsor Ms Hunter visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SarahHunter26.2