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York Sport hosts adventurer running 17 marathons in 17 days

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Image Credit: @louisalexanderultra

The York Sport running track will host a British adventurer on 17 February, as he attempts to run 17 marathons in 17 days. Louis Alexander is a 22 year old, self-proclaimed “British adventurer and endurance athlete”, and is running the extreme challenge throughout the months of February and March to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. He aims to run a marathon everyday in several cities across the UK, and will be using York Sport’s track for his second marathon. The University of York is home to one of Alzheimer’s Research UK laboratories, which makes the location even more suitable for the 26.2 miles that Louis will be running – a distance that works out at 105 laps of the running track.

The challenge is inspired by his grandfather, who lost his life in 2019 after being diagnosed with dementia 17 years ago. Louis aims to raise £17,000 for the charity fighting to find a dementia cause through his consecutive 17 marathons. His grandfather served in the British Army for 38 years, exploring the world, which helped inspire Louis’s attempts. The first marathon will start at Chatsworth Grange Care Home in Sheffield, where his grandfather lived in his final years. Each day the location will vary across the country.

Louis is no stranger to extreme challenges, having promised to his family at his Grandad’s funeral that he would support Alzheimer’s Research UK with an event “every year until the day we beat Dementia together”.These endeavours have included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, completing 20 challenges in the lockdown year of 2020, and a 100km ultra marathon in November of last year. He has raised £23,000 for charity since his endurance challenges began. His mental and physical limits have been tested before, including climbing the South Wales mountain Pen y Fan ten times non-stop whilst wearing a 10kg weighted vest in under 19 hours, but has admitted that this challenge of 445.4 miles in 17 days will be his toughest yet.

Louis Alexander told Nouse: “A few years ago, I had the honour of speaking at my grandfather’s funeral and made the promise to family and friends to support Alzheimer’s Research UK every year until the day we find a cure. This year, to continue my promise, I am going to run 17 marathons in 17 consecutive days for the 17 years he suffered from dementia. Although I have run ultra marathons before, this will be my toughest challenge to date. My second marathon is going to be on the athletics track at the University of York, which is home to one of the charity’s research labs.
“Whilst planning this challenge, it was important for me to highlight these research labs and remind those who are kindly donating that their money is going towards finding a cure for this cruel illness. I will be starting at 10am on Thursday 17 February, and would like to invite students from York to join, whether it be for one lap or the whole 26.2 miles. More the merrier!"

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