Our Bournemouth and Poole cluster homes got behind Operations Manager Jacky Sylvester as she took on the challenge of the London Marathon to raise money for dementia research.
It was Jacky’s 50th marathon, but only her first in 16 years, after she had previously hung up her trainers on a running career.
The impetus to ‘come out of retirement’ was a wish to support Dementia Revolution, a year-long campaign of dementia research co-ordinated by Alzheimer’s UK and Alzheimer’s Research.
“I wanted to do it because research is so important to our understanding of dementia,” said Jacky.
“It was a wonderful experience to take part in another marathon. At the start I heard one of the race officials say that only one in ten applications is successful. They’d had 440,000 people apply this year but could only let through 42,000 entries, so I felt really privileged to be there.”
Jacky completed the 26.2-mile course in just over five and a half hours, raising around £2,000 in the process.
“It was my fourth time doing the London Marathon and in the years since I did it before, the crowd has swelled. There were masses of people along the route, no empty spaces, just people continuously cheering you on. It was spectacular – it’s the crowds that make it.
“ It was very long day but there was never a time when I thought I couldn’t do it. When I crossed the finish line I was absolutely exhausted but thrilled. A huge thank-you goes to everyone who supported me.”
As well as London, Jacky previously ran marathons in cities such as New York and Berlin. She also ran races in South Africa, where she lived for three years, including the Soweto township marathon.
“Now that I’ve finally completed my 50th one, that is definitely the last,” she says.
Among the events to raise sponsorship for Jacky’s run were a cake sale at Avon Cliff, a vintage tea party at Amberwood House and a quiz night at Bourne View.