Rachel Kneller ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2018. Rachel was inspired to fundraise and take on a new challenge after her dad was diagnosed with dementia. Despite being new to fundraising Rachel has raised over £2,000 for Alzheimer’s charities and wants to do much more.
Winning my place on the Virgin Money London Marathon last year came just at the right time. My dad was suffering with dementia and I was determined to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and start raising awareness of what can be such a taboo subject. I was able to share with him what I was doing and his obvious pride helped me in so many ways.
Like so many, I had to overcome many training obstacles. My training runs were full of mixed emotions. I would often do my long run on a Wednesday morning, which consisted of a lovely river run (good thinking time) and always ended up at my husband’s office, more often than not in tears of “I can’t do this”. Luckily my husband and four children were all there on marathon day to support me. I cried when I saw them and it was only with their support that I got over the finishing line.
I got to show my dad my medal and hear him tell me how proud he was, but sadly a couple of months later he passed away. He was such a loving family man, I feel I need to carry on fundraising not only to make him proud but to try and help other families and sufferers.
Between now and the Virgin Money London Marathon I’ll be posting training videos, fundraising updates and other bits and bobs. I hope you will feel part of my journey over the next few months.