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Just under 500 cyclists ride further than the distance to the moon as Alzheimer's Research UK's inaugural Cycling Down Dementia campaign gets underway

Written by Editorial Team, Donr

Published on Monday, 12th February 2018

Just under 500 cyclists ride further than the distance to the moon as Alzheimer's Research UK's inaugural Cycling Down Dementia campaign gets underway

Some 495 cyclists chose to ride either 300 or 1,000 miles from the beginning of November to the end of January, raising £80,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK in the process.

UK charity Alzheimer’s Research UK’s inaugural Cycling Down Dementia campaign got off to a great start as 495 keen cyclists took up the challenge to ride either 300 or 1,000 miles. Their combined distance covered was 274,000 miles – more than 11 times the circumference of the earth, and a greater distance than that of earth to the moon.

Bethan Watts took on the 300-mile challenge in honour of her dad who has Alzheimer’s disease. She raised £2,312 and said: ‘I’m so pleased I signed up for Cycling Down Dementia and have been able to raise so much money for research. 

‘Dementia is the underdog in terms of research, and it’s also the condition that has the biggest impact on health and social care services. Compared to cancer, research into dementia is underfunded, which is why I wanted to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.’

Meanwhile, Simon Lovestone, Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry and Lead Academic Scientist at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute, raised over £2,000 as he took on the 300-mile challenge. Some of Simon’s miles included cycling to Buckingham Palace to receive a knighthood for services to neuroscience research in December.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the participant who managed to cover the most miles in the campaign was Gine Cleere, one of the top female long-distance cyclists in the country. Gina cycled down dementia over 3,723 miles – inspired to take up the challenge as her father has dementia with Lewy bodies.

‘Cycling Down Dementia has been a fabulous challenge as it combined something I love – cycling long distances – with raising money for a cause that’s very close to me.’

Following the campaign, Kenneth Foreman, Senior Sporting Events Manager at the charity said: ‘The first year of Cycling Down Dementia has been a huge success and we’ve been blown away by the amazing dedication of the cyclists.

‘We are so thankful to each and every cyclist who took part. The vital funds raised will power world-class dementia research projects and help bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.’ 

Following hot on the heels of Cycling Down Dementia, Alzheimer’s Research UK will soon be relaunching its Running Down Dementia for the campaign’s third year. Participants are challenged to run or walk 100km and raise £100 this summer. Pre-registration is now open.