Scott Mitchell and Richard McCourt will run the London Marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s
Scott Mitchell, the late Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband, and Richard McCourt, one half of the comedy duo Dick and Dom, are set to run the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday (3 October) to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Mr Mitchell said the London Marathon is his opportunity to thank everyone who has donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK in Dame Barbara’s memory, while Mr McCourt will run in memory of his mother, who died of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
“I have been astounded by people’s generosity ever since we lost Barbara.Mr Mitchell said.I want to repay that kindness by running this incredible course one last time. I know it won’t be easy, but Barbara will be in my thoughts throughout, as she always is, and she’ll push me over that finish line.
“This run is for everyone who has been through a similar journey with their loved ones. Research is our best hope of overcoming dementia and knowing I can play a small part in bringing that day forward by supporting the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK means everything to me.”
He’ll be running with his brother-in-law and nephew, Laurence and Harry Alexander, who have already raised £166, 665 for the charity.
Mr Mitchell ran the iconic 26.2-mile Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time two and a half years ago to raise funds for Dementia Revolution, a record-breaking campaign from Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society chosen as the 2019 event’s charity of the year.
‘Dementia has had a devastating impact on our family’
Richard McCourt will run the Marathon on Sunday in memory of his mother, Helen, who died in 2010 at the age of 64 from frontotemporal dementia (FTD), also known as Pick’s disease.
“It’s been 10 years since I last ran the London Marathon and I’m doing it again! said Mr McCourt. As you can imagine, it’s no easy feat and it was one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever done. I remember hobbling over the finish line.
“Dementia has had a devastating impact on our family, and that’s why I’m running to support the vital work of Alzheimer’s Research UK. It’s going to be tough but thinking of Mum and those we’ve lost will be all the motivation I need to hobble over that finish line again
“In 2004, we noticed that Mum was getting confused at home and in her work. At just 58, she was diagnosed with FTD. She sadly passed away in 2010, aged 64.
“Over the past 10 years, we have also lost her sister, Jean, and her brother, Peter, at a similar age to this terrible disease. My grandad, Ronald, also passed away with a form of early-onset dementia, which we suspected was also FTD.”
Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It is so wonderful that our amazing Ambassador Scott Mitchell has joined our team of runners and is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon yet again for Alzheimer’s Research UK. By taking part in this iconic event, he’s not only raising vital funds for research in memory of the most remarkable woman but also helping to shine a much-needed spotlight on dementia and the importance of research to tackle it.”
EastEnders actress Tanya Franks, whose stepfather Derek has Alzheimer’s disease, West End actress Carrie Hope Fletcher, who is running for the charity, and Papyrus UK, health and fitness advocate Steph Elswood, who lost her grandfather Roy to dementia, are also running for the charity.
Ms Evans continued, “We wish Scott, Richard, and all of our runners the best of luck on race day.” The charity and our amazing volunteers will be there in force to cheer everyone on and make it a memorable day.”