Chariots of Fire veteran gathers teams to raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK - a cause close to his heart

Chariots of Fire veteran Simon Gibson will be running harder than ever in this year’s race to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK - in honour of his dad who is living with Alzheimer’s disease. 

The dad-of-three is determined to clock up a ‘PB’ (personal best) in this year’s race on Sunday 17 September as his own father, Alan, has been living with Alzheimer’s since 2009, and is now “happy” in a care home near Newmarket, the area he lived and worked for more than 50 years. 

Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion Simon will run as part of one of two teams from Mattioli Woods, which has become a tradition for the wealth management company. He was delighted when he heard Chariots of Fire had chosen Alzheimer’s Research UK as its official charity for 2017. He said: “I think we have had a team in Chariots of Fire for around 13 years and I have taken part in most of those races. Although I was more than a decade younger when I took on my first Chariots of Fire I would like to say I will run harder than ever and hopefully get a personal best – the youngsters had better watch out!” 

Simon was made a champion of the UK’s leading dementia research charity in recognition of his fundraising efforts and dedication to raising awareness about dementia by sharing his own experience. 

The 51-year-old’s father, Alan Gibson, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 and although he was cared for at home initially, he had to move into a care home last year. His eldest son Simon is determined to do all he can for Alzheimer’s Research UK and raise as much as possible from Chariots of Fire, through raising sponsorship by encouraging friends, family, clients and professional connections to give generously to fund the study into people living with Down’s Syndrome who have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Simon knows the importance of this study as his own godson is living with Down’s syndrome and is aware of the elevated risk of dementia. 

Tim Parry, Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We know that we can beat dementia because it is caused by diseases of the brain that research has the power to delay, slow or stop. We can only achieve breakthroughs against dementia with the backing of supporters like Simon, who continue to raise vital funds for our world-class research. “We are delighted that after so many years of taking part in Chariots of Fire Simon will be doing it for Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2017, a cause so close to his heart. We are looking forward to cheering on Simon’s efforts on the day!” 

Chariots of Fire is organised by Hewitsons Charitable Trust, the charity established and supported by Solicitors Hewitsons LLP, and backed by the Cambridge News. Charles Hewitson, Race Director, said “With 850,000 people in the UK currently living with Alzheimer’s and with this number expected to grow to one million by 2025 we are delighted that more and more teams are entering each day to raise these valuable finds for our official charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK, for their important research project.” 

The race starts and finishes on Queens’ Green. Team registrations close on Wednesday 13 September at 5pm unless all 400 teams have registered before that date.