Vanessa runs virtual marathon for Dementia charity

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A DK Running Club member has run a virtual marathon one year after a family member went into full time care for dementia.

Vanessa Harris, of Pensnett, took on the Alzheimer’s Society’s Jog on Dementia challenge to complete the marathon distance of 26.2 miles and raise £100 for the charity.

It was just over a year ago that Vanessa’s mother’s husband, Ray Tibbetts, was admitted to full time care after contracting dementia. Vanessa wanted to do something positive to mark the occasion and so opted for the marathon challenge.

She decided to run 26 one mile laps from her house adding a pebble to her window sill at the end of each lap to help her keep count of the distance and stay focused throughout the physically and mentally tough challenge.

Vanessa also left bottles of water and energy bars on top of her car to fuel her as she pounded the pavements around Pensnett.

She set off at 6:30am and finished in a personal best (PB) time of five hours and 41 minutes, knocking 15 minutes off her previous marathon PB.

Vanessa, who is a mobile hairdresser, said,

“I ran the marathon during my first week back at work since lockdown and had to do it on my one day off so this was two milestones in a week.

“I hope this will inspire people to go and pursue their goals, however unimaginable you think they may be.”

Vanessa raised well over £100 for the Alzheimer’s Society Jog on Dementia challenge.