Colin Murray

My Dad, Ron Murray, passed away on 18th May 2016 at the age of 77, having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s around 6 years ago. He was a very intelligent man who had worked on high technology computers and satellite systems during his working life, did model engineering In his spare time and was also an active person who enjoyed sailing and other outdoor activities.

It was heart-breaking to see him decline both mentally and physically over these last few years as the disease progressed and, despite all the care he received, knowing that his condition would only decline.

Of course, my experience is being mirrored all over the country and around the world, as so many others suffer from this terrible disease. Only by putting serious effort and resources into understanding the causes of Alzheimer’s can we ever hope to find better treatments to arrest and perhaps one day prevent it’s occurrence.

I am aware of many charities associated with Alzheimer’s, but was particularly impressed with BRACE’s focus on funding of medical research – something I know my Dad would have approved of – and also the local aspect of its support for universities in the West of England. Dad lived for much of his life in Gloucestershire and spent his last 20 years, following retirement, in Devon. He received his treatment in Somerset and Devon and indeed it was from one of his doctors in Taunton that we first learned of the work done by BRACE.

My own running story started in 2012 when I doctor told me I was overweight. I intially didn't believe him, but something sunk in and I started to walk regularly in the morning and soon saw the benefits as I felt better and lost a few kilos. One day, I can't remember exactly why or when, I decided to speed up a bit and ran - probably the first time I'd done this outdoors since my 20's. It felt good and soon I was running two or three times a week. From there I decided to enter a couple of 10km races, which I enjoyed and soon had progressed to a Half Marathon. I ran my first full Marathon in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2013 and have now completed three more in Hong Kong, Singapore and Perth, Australia. I'm not that fast, but at the age of 56, I'm just thankful to be able to enjoy taking part and even beating a few of the youngsters!

I train with a running group in Kuala Lumpur - Smart Athletics Club - who give me lots of support and encouragement. Our members are of all abilities, from complete beginners to experienced marathoners and we are very fortunate to be coached by the inspirational Edan Syah, currently Malaysia's fastest marathon runner.

I have been unsuccesful in the VLM ballot for the past three years, and had decided even before my Dad’s death that I should try to run for an Alzheimer’s charity. Now I am determined that I should run in his memory, so to be able to do so in support of BRACE is a fitting tribute.

Colin Murray