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Canterbury runner smashes fundraising target 10 weeks before taking on half marathon

PUBLISHED: 15:23 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 24 July 2017

Alex Pace and her father, Richard

Alex Pace and her father, Richard

Archant

Alex Pace is raising money more Alzheimer’s disease, with which her father has been diagnosed

A Canterbury runner who is competing in a half marathon later this year to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease has emphatically smashed her target.

Alex Pace, 47, set out to raise £2,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society ahead of the Royal Parks Half Marathon after seeing her father, Richard’s health deterirorate since being diagnosed with the disease and vascular dementia back in September 2015.

However, an overwhelming response from freinds and family has seen her already collect more than £2,150 for the charity - some ten weeks before the race itself begins in the capital, when runners make their way through Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

Ms Pace said: “Quite a long time prior to the actual diagnosis my father was often confused, particularly if we were out in the car.

“He would ask why we were going this way – he would have taken a different route. Even if there wasn’t a different route to take.

“I remember my mother telling me that he had forgotten how to make a phone call using the landline telephone. We thought that perhaps he had had a stroke.

“Some while later, on holiday in the Scottish Highlands, he went out for a walk on his own. We didn’t find him until 3-4 hours later, exhausted, lost and dehydrated.”

The family live on a farm and say they are lucky to be surrounded by such a supportive network of people.

However, Mr Pace’s health has continued to suffer in recent months, as his daughter explains: “Sadly, my father is so unwell now that he has a full-time carer living in now.

“He is unable to walk, sleeps a lot, sometimes doesn’t say very much but he is still at home and that is the most important thing.”

Running her first half marathon, Miss Pace is hoping to complete the course in under two hours and 15 minutes, and praised the work of the charity she is raising money for.

“The Alzheimer’s Society helps people suffering with Alzheimer’s in many ways,” she said.

“They are funding research into the care, cause, cure and prevention of Alzheimer’s. They also have a phone line, The National Dementia Helpline, as well as offering local support groups for help and information.

“As well as this, their campaign, Dementia Friends, has highlighted the need for society to be Dementia Friendly, so that people with the disease can live without fear.”

Miss Pace competes in the half marathon on October 8, and those wishing to donate to her cause can do so here.

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