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Monday, 21 September 2020


Step up for dementia research with new hiking challenge

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The UK’s leading dementia research charity is calling on people to step up to support life-changing science during World Alzheimer’s Month by signing up for a new virtual hiking challenge.

Alzheimer’s Research UK has launched the ARUK Explorer virtual hike ahead of World Alzheimer’s Month in September.

Participants are challenged to walk as much as they can between 1 September and 31 October. Supporters can choose to walk the equivalent of Cambridge to Oxford (83miles), coast to coast (182miles) or a distance of their choice. By getting sponsored to do it they can help the charity make strides towards a life-changing treatment for dementia.

The challenge follows in the footsteps of the charity’s successful ARUK Explorer event. Last year’s inaugural ARUK Explorer trek in the Peak District raised £58,000. This year two events were organised – Peak District and Cambridge – but both had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ARUK Explorer virtual hike also follows the charity’s other virtual sporting challenges – Running Down Dementia, Cycling Down Dementia, Swimming Down Dementia and the Treble Challenge – which together have raised over £2million for dementia research.

Julia Sobik, Head of Sporting Events at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Like all charities across the UK, we have seen a drop in income as a result of COVID-19. But the pandemic has also highlighted the continued urgent need to support dementia research.

“More people with dementia have died from COVID-19 in England and Wales than those with any other pre-existing condition. In fact, a quarter of COVID-19 deaths have been people with dementia.

“One in three people born today will go on to develop dementia in their lifetime – but every step taken and every pound raised in the ARUK Explorer virtual challenge has the power to help change this through research.

“Whether you walk in trainers, walking boots, with walking poles, or with your four-legged friend, by taking on the challenge you will be helping to bring about the first life-changing treatment for dementia.”

When someone signs up for the ARUK Explorer virtual hike, they create their own supporter page where people can see their progress and sponsor them. Participants can connect tracking apps to their supporter page to track and record their walks or can manually add walks.

Participants can split up their target distance into whatever chunks they like and can clock up the miles anywhere they like.

Anyone who raises £200 will receive an ARUK Explorer medal.

To sign up for the ARUK Explorer virtual hike go to www.arukexplorer.org

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

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