Virgin Money London Marathon 2021

The Virgin Money London Marathon is due to take place on 3rd October 2021 and we are delighted to announce we have two lovely ladies running to raise funds for our charity.  Below is a bit about each of them and a link to their fundraising pages.  Please go and show Zsuzsi and Hannah some support!

Zsuzsi Racz 

My name is Zsuzsi, I am 40 years old and married to my husband with whom I have 2 lovely boys, 6 and 8 years old. I am Hungarian and have lived in England since 2005 and I married my husband in 2018. We settled in London and I am working for DHL at Sainsbury’s Distribution Centre in Dartford where I heard about the opportunity to take part in the marathon for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services.

I have a very active lifestyle since fitness became my passion 4.5 years ago. When the gyms are open, I like to do different classes such as boxing, yoga, circuit training, hiit or weight training. When the gyms closed during the first lockdown, I had to find another way to stay active and decided to get into running. We made this a family activity, me and my husband both running whilst the kids biked with us. We would run/bike 5-6km each time and in order to keep me motivated, I would set challenges like completing 6km in less than 30 mins.woman stretching

I found out that a healthy and active lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease which for me, having a case of Alzheimer’s in my family, made me even more motivated to keep up my fitness. Unfortunately, my auntie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and therefore I recognise the challenges for those who are looking after people with dementia. From nurses working in hospices to the care workers looking after people in their own homes, they are real heroes. All these things made me even more sure, I wanted to help this great cause.

In my spare time I also paint and I will be supporting the charity by donating 5% from each sale to the charity.  You can see my Facebook page here.

My training plan for the marathon is running, running and running. I believe that if I keep running regularly, stay fit, eating healthy and looking after myself, that’s the best that I can do to be able to complete the marathon. I know myself and I know I will do the maximum to achieve this goal. I want to be proud of myself and make my family, friends and colleagues proud of me too.

I am so proud that I can take part in this amazing famous event. I am so glad and happy that I have been chosen to run for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services. Previously I actually had a conversation with a colleague about trying to run the London Marathon but I realised it’s not every easy to get a place. With the difficulties surrounding the pandemic I forgot about this idea until I heard about this opportunity to run for the charity. I think its worth a try and I believe if we really want something, the Universe will bring it our way.

Click here for Zsuzsi’s fundraising page

Hannah Horton 

I’m 51 and have been married to Jeremy for 30 years this year. We have 24 year old boy/Girl  twins, Sam and Josie. I’m a primary school teacher, although I’m not teaching at present due to caring for mum.

My parents have been married for 55 years this year. Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers about 5 years ago although she had  symptoms for a good few years before that. She also has Multiple Myeloma so we have ended up spending a lot of time at the hospital over the past few years!

runnerMy running journey started about five years ago. My friend Penny and I were sitting drinking coffee and planning a fundraising 5k run for setting up community work in Ebbsfleet as part of our Church, Ebbsfleet Baptist Church. I just happened to say to her that it would be really amazing if as well as organise it we could actually run it too! We then started a couch 2 5k course and successfully ran our charity 5k. We then caught the running bug and our husbands joined us. We started off with regular park runs then in March 2017 we took on our first half marathon. We’ve done a few half marathons since then and the NorthDowns run, a 18 mile cross country run which we run on behalf of the Ellenor Hospice. The London Marathon will be our first Marathon. Penny and I had always wanted to run a marathon together but had agreed it would have to be a special one to persuade us. Penny managed to get a place in the ballot. We had an agreement that if one of us got a ballot place the other would get a charity place and we would fundraise together. My husband will be joining us in this challenge as he will be fundraising too when he runs the York Marathon 2 weeks after we run the London.

When we started on this journey with Mum there were 2 local charities that offered us amazing support. The Ellenor Hospice , who Penny and I ran for 2 years ago and ADSS. The ADSS were there for us right at the beginning. Mum and I went to a post diagnostic session run by ADSS. It was a really helpful and informative session which made me feel like I wasn’t completely floundering in the dark. I flowed this up with a carers course which proved absolutely invaluable. I learnt a lot about Mum’s condition and what to expect and how I could help make her life living with the condition as fulfilling as possible. They also helped signpost us in various directions for further help for Mum and Dad. I was immensely grateful for these sessions and the connections I made with other people on the course going through similar experiences. If it hadn’t been for Covid Mum would have been enjoying sessions at the day centre ADSS run too.

There is no denying Dementia is one of the cruelest of diseases and there is no sugar coating on offer. It is so painful watching someone you love so much go through this. I’m just so grateful that Charities such as ADSS exist to help navigate the minefield of Dementia and offer practical and emotional support along the way.

So back to the marathon. It’s safe to say that we are nervous and excited in equal measure. We’re praying nothing goes wrong with our training and we stay injury free. We officially start our training plan in June but in the meantime we are trying to shake off the excess lockdown pounds and build up our fitness. Bring it on!

Click here for Hannah’s fundraising page

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