When Mike Bowring and Jessica Simmons heard that Alzheimer’s Society were one of the headline charity partners at this years JCP Swansea Half Marathon they just had to get involved. In almost 6 weeks time, Mike and his friends and family will be joining the 6,000 plus strong field of runners on the 13.1 mile course, which takes place in Swansea on the 25th June.
Mike’s grandmother; Jennie Marion Davies, or Mam Jam to her family was a Sister at Neath General Hospital. She devoted her life to caring for others, and even up until a couple of years ago she would be busying herself around her ward ‘helping to care’ for other patients. However, Jennie was diagnosed with dementia 17 years ago and she is the reason why Mike and Jess decided to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society.
“My family and I had to watch a strong, caring and beautiful woman succumb to the terrible disease that is dementia. I feel like I lost my grandmother many years ago. My partner Jessica and I decided that we wanted to give back to the charity that supported my family and who help millions of people who are affected by dementia, both directly and indirectly. Last year, we decided to take part in a few challenges with the hope of raising £500 for the Society. This escalated from 3 or 4 events to 23! These included obstacle course runs, half marathons, triathlons and marathons.”
The amazing efforts of Mike and Jess over the last year has enabled them to cover a distance of 517 miles in all 23 events – further than travelling from Swansea to Paris! Both of them have achieved things they never thought possible, with the most memorable events being the Memory Walk, which they completed as a group with extended family.
Both Jess and Mike work at Ysgol Bae Baglan, in Port Talbot where they have organised a number of events to raise funds to the society. Mike added:
“We think it is important to help younger generations understand dementia and we hope that we can inspire others to do what they can to help. Jess is hoping to volunteer with the charity at the Swansea Half Marathon to help support runners – I can vouch that the Society’s cheer points definitely give a much-needed boost.
I will be running the event with several friends and family members, all of whom feel inspired by what Jess and I have done so far and want to help us in our campaign.
Of all of the events so far, I feel that the Swansea Half Marathon will be the stand out event for me. I will be so proud to be running the course in my Alzheimer’s Society jersey alongside not only my friends and family, but with thousands of other people, knowing that we all hope for a day where dementia no longer pulls families apart.”
The duo have set up a Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/MikeAndJess), where anyone can donate. So far they have raised a total of £1473.
If you would like to become a CHARITY CHAMPION and join the likes of Mike and his friends to run for the Alzheimer’s Society you can register at: http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/alzheimers-society/
The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is road race that is flat, fast on a course that is perfect for beginners, and first time half marathon runners. Race entries close in only 2 weeks. However charity places for Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research UK will remain open up until the weekend of the event.
The race has recently been recognised as being the “Best Half Marathon” in the UK and runners can expect a fully marshaled course on closed roads, bespoke medal, technical t-shirt, on route entertainment, post race massage and goody bag for all finishers.
Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk for further race details and to sign up, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter and @swanseahalfmarathon on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news about the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.