Runner completes virtual London Marathon for Alzheimer’s charity

Storm Alex could not stop one runner from raising over £2,000 for charity on the weekend by completing the London Marathon.

Morag Smith battled torrential rain and strong winds to run the 26.2 miles, setting off from Windsor Castle and finishing at Buckingham Palace on Sunday.

Ms Smith, who is originally from Lerwick but now lives in London, took part in the first ‘virtual’ marathon in the event’s history to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Seeing first-hand the effect that Alzheimer’s can have on families inspired Ms Smith to run for the charity, including the  “massive shock” to discover that her dad, Chris Smith, had Alzheimer’s in December 2018.

“You always hear about it but until you’re living with it you don’t realise what it really means,” said Ms Smith. “Everything becomes a lot more stressed and stripped back to basics in terms of what you can do.”

The 25-year-old has raised more than £2,000 so far and doubled her fundraising target, which you can support here, to £4,000.

Ms Smith said she had been “overwhelmed” by people’s generosity.

“Every time we thought of giving up, I would look to the donations and messages of support from people who had faith that I could do this; that’s what kept me going and I couldn’t be more grateful to them all,” she said.

The charity worker even had to change her route halfway due to flooding and protests in Central London, finishing in a time of 5 hours 54 minutes and covering 27.5 miles.

Ms Smith after completing the race.

Organisers created the ‘Virtual London Marathon’ after the original event had to be postponed due to Covid-19, with runners deciding their own routes across the country this year.

Ms Smith said: “The support that Alzheimer’s Society offer as well as their world class research is lifeline to people affected and provides hope for the future.

“That’s why, if running a marathon can prevent another family the devastation of dementia and Alzheimer’s every one of those miles will be worth it.”


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