The PREVENT Dementia Around the World Challenge is now one month in. We took this opportunity to catch up with Prof Craig Ritchie, lead researcher of the PREVENT Dementia Programme, to discuss the journey so far. Craig shares his own motivations for running, reflects on our achievements and looks forward to the next leg of our challenge.
Dear Fellow Runners, Friends and Supporters,
Running across Africa is tough work at this time of year; but when each step is with 50 friends towards the goal of raising awareness (and cash) for Dementia Prevention and Improved Brain Health – then those steps along the dusty track can only be light, energized and fleet not heavy, tired and clumsy.
This month the PREVENT Dementia team ran collectively 1,719km – the equivalent distance from Edinburgh to Helsinki! . The leader board for month 1 certainly doesn’t show a normal distribution – but that’s fantastic – as its about running as a team and making your own contribution counting, improving your times, your VO2 Max and (of course) your own brain health. It’s about being all over the world, Spain, England, Ireland, France, California, Nevada and yes even Scotland to leave a wee message in the footprints on the track in each of these places – a message of hope.
Why do we run? The project needs support and the public need to know. Communities all over the world truly believing, truly hoping, truly inspiring others with the wee message that we can prevent dementia – a million little messages that speak with the clarity and credibility that only comes from knowledge. Knowledge that only comes from the data which comes from our amazing partners – the participants who make such a massive contribution and commitment. That data makes the models that makes the difference.
So when we run we know we are helping create knowledge that will lead us to the earliest detection of brain disease and the best chance of stopping it in its tracks. That’s why we run.
Spread the little message – we have 11 months to run 38,356 km and we need as many in this team as we can to make each run they make add to our target. Get a friend, family member or colleague to join us. A thousand messages of hope and belief as one voice can make a pretty loud noise which cant be ignored.
As lead of the PREVENT Dementia Programme – I can’t thank you all enough for your passion for this work. I also love taking each little step as I run knowing that when I run alone I have 50 virtual partners alongside me – and that’s a good feeling. Month 1 was awesome but lets destroy that total in Month 2 as we step out of Africa across the Indian Ocean.
Be strong and enjoy.
Every week we track our journey from the starting line at 0 degrees latitude, 0 degrees longitude, heading east around the equator in our quest to circumnavigate the globe. Look out for us arriving soon to a country near you!
Follow the team’s live progress this week: