Clive's Virtual London Marathon

Clive’s wife Jayne was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015 aged just 52. Prior to receiving her diagnosis, Clive wasn't aware the disease could affect someone so young.

It had become apparent that something wasn’t right whilst Clive and Jayne were on holiday together in Mexico and Jayne had tried to make her way back to her room for a rest but instead returned upset that she couldn't find her way. Upon arriving back to the UK, Jayne visited the GP to explain the memory problems she had been having, and her employer at the time took action to involve outside agencies in helping her to get a diagnosis.

Shortly after the diagnosis was confirmed, Clive joined his local running club Steel City Striders RC to help him keep physically and mentally fit whilst juggling the challenges of working full-time and unexpectedly becoming a carer for Jayne.

After nurturing his love for running and experiencing the positive effect the activity and community had on his wellbeing, Clive felt he was ready to take on the big 26.2 in Jayne’s honour and raise as much money as he could towards Alzheimer’s Society and their vital research into finding a cure for the UK’s biggest killer. His dream was to complete the London Marathon, and he felt 2020 was to be his year.

Completing the distance was set to be a challenge for Clive as the furthest he’d ever run was 14 miles when he was offered his place in the 2020 event - but he believed that with the support of his family, friends and colleagues, it was something he could achieve and that nothing was going to stop him from getting to the start line of such an iconic race.

It was unknown at the time that it wasn’t going to be the case, as COVID-19 was increasingly sweeping the nation and races were being put on hold up and down the country. Reflecting on London Marathon 2020 becoming a virtual event, Clive believes this turned out to be a huge success for him, with an entourage of friends and family rallying together to help him organise his event, while continuing to raise funds and awareness through dedicated merch and donations, offer advice and join him on training runs as a personal cheering squad. Many members of the running club have become friends for life who continue to support him on a level he often finds overwhelming, and believes that without them none of it would have been possible.

Although government guidance was continually changing in the lead up to the virtual event, Clive was still able to enjoy the support of friends on different legs of his Sheffield run and it was an emotional day for all involved. We had the honour of creating a commemorative Personal Best Vest print for Clive after the event to remember the special day.

Photos by Tony Lyell

Clive continues to raise funds tirelessly for Alzheimer’s Society (and is still hoping to get the chance to run down the Mall at London one day!) and his total raised to date stands at an incredible £10,866.

We wish Clive and his family all the best for 2021.

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