Three-time Olympian to give starters orders at Chariots of Fire next month

Former British javelin thrower Goldie Sayers will open this year’s Chariots of Fire race in Cambridge, in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK

The Suffolk-born athlete will start the race on Queens’ Green along The Backs and will present the winners with their highly-coveted trophies. She is looking forward to cheering teams on at the race, which is raising vital funds for a pioneering brain imaging project at the University of Cambridge. It will provide researchers with a better understanding of the links between Alzheimer’s and Down’s syndrome to identify the windows of opportunity for future preventative treatments that could benefit everyone affected by Alzheimer’s. 

Goldie said: “I’m so proud to be representing Alzheimer’s Research UK at this year’s Chariots of Fire relay race on Sunday 17 September. As a local girl, it’s wonderful to see one of the area’s biggest fundraising events supporting such an important charity. “Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the UK, and investment into research is vital if we’re going to beat it. I can’t wait to see everyone at the start line, and cheer them all on.” 

The Olympian enjoyed a 20-year career in javelin throwing, which saw her compete at three Olympic Games, five World Championships and three Commonwealth Games. She is still the British record holder, having broken it at Beijing 2008, and is an 11-time national champion. 

Prior to the race starting, runners will also be able to watch a performance by Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion Harry Gardner who performed in the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent this year. Harry wrote and released Not Alone, a charity single for Alzheimer’s Research UK, last year, in honour of his 76-year-old nan Maureen McGuinness after she failed to recognise him for the first time. His nan sadly passed away before his first Britain’s Got Talent audition aired earlier this year. He said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the teams in Cambridge next month. It is great to see Chariots of Fire supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK as their work is so important. I support them and raise awareness so that other families don’t have to go through what we have been through with my nan.” Harry will join Goldie in cheering runners on and encouraging people to get behind Alzheimer’s Research UK. 

Tim Parry, Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are delighted to have both Goldie and Harry supporting us and all of the Chariots of Fire teams on the day. “It is great to have their backing for the race as the study it is funding is so important and could provide fundamental answers for researchers trying to tackle Alzheimer’s disease, which is the biggest cause of dementia. “With 15 years since the last treatment for Alzheimer’s, we’ve waited too long. It’s only through research that we can understand the diseases that cause dementia and develop the life-changing treatments that people with the condition so desperately need. We’d like to thank all the runners whose fundraising efforts will power pioneering dementia research.” 

Charles Hewitsons, Race Director, said “It is always great to see so many people supporting Chariots of Fire and the official charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. We are grateful that Goldie & Harry have offered to give up their time to support this year’s race, with Harry performing his song for the crowd after the race starts. Spaces still remain for the race so make sure your teams are reserved before all 400 spaces have been taken”. 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.