RUNNING 17 MARATHONS IN 17 CONSECUTIVE DAYS
February - March 2022
On Friday 4th March, British adventurer Louis Alexander completed his 17 marathons in 17 consecutive days, to honour the 17 years his Grandfather lived with Dementia and to raise vital funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The first several marathons offered an unexpected challenge as Louis ran through the UK’s worst storms in over 30 years, however issues escalated further into the challenge. Speaking about the adversity he faced, Louis said: “my body started to break down from marathon 10, when I woke up with a chest infection, fever and worst of all shin splints in my left leg. I had no choice but to run through the pain, and although the body was suffering, the mind never faulted. When your ‘why’ is as important as mine was, representing my family and raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, then you will go through anything to get the job done.”
At only 58 years old, Louis’ Grandfather, Captain Rick Taylor, was diagnosed with Dementia. An explorer and adventurer himself, he served all around the world during his 38 years in the British Army, fighting against some of the most dangerous forces in the world. However, it was the battle against Dementia which sadly ended his life in 2019 after 17 years of suffering.
Starting outside his Grandfather’s care home in Sheffield, cheered on by the staff and nurses, Louis began his 17 day journey which took him around the UK, whilst being joined by friends and supporters, and finishing in Battersea Park in London. Louis ran in several unique locations, such as the Roger Bannister track at the University of Oxford, and at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, which is home to many of the best GB athletes past and present. Louis was told after by the manager, Simon, that he has the record for the first person to run a marathon on their indoor 200m track.
Louis’ fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK began in 2018, his endeavours so far including climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, completing 20 challenges in 2020, and a 100km ultra marathon. Speaking about his Grandad, Louis said “I had the privilege of speaking at his funeral, and made the promise to family and friends to never give up on the fight for a cure, and to support Alzheimer’s Research UK with one event every year until the day we beat Dementia together. I will not break that promise.”
Louis had the support of several highly respected adventures and explorers during this challenge as patrons, including Sir Chris Bonington, Robert Swan OBE, Ash Dykes and Sean Conway. Rob Swan OBE, the first man to walk to both poles, said “I’m proud to see the young generation of adventurers such as Louis Alexander continue to fly the flag for British adventure”.