He may be a competitive runner, but the time it takes to complete this year’s Great North Run will not be the only thing on the mind of Alnwick Harrier Dominic Harris.
That’s because the Broomhill athlete will be tackling the iconic half-marathon in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society – after being inspired to support the charity by a friend whose late mother had dementia.
The 29-year-old will be running to show his support for pal Gemma Little, from Amble, who set up the Save the Memories campaign, to raise money for the Society.
She has collected thousands for the cause after losing her 64-year-old mum, Anne, to dementia in 2006.
Dominic said: “My time in the Great North Run won’t be the most important thing on my mind when I cross over the finishing line.
“What will matter far more is how much I am able to raise for the charity. What Gemma is trying to do to make life better for people who are affected by dementia is amazing.
“Gemma lost her mum to Alzheimer’s so dementia is an issue that stands out to me because she witnessed her mum succumbing to the disease.
“I’ve seen dementia at first-hand because I’m a nursing assistant, so I know how devastating it can be.”
Dominic only started running in October and joined Alnwick Harriers in March. He has tackled one half-marathon, finishing in 1.38.12.
Looking ahead to next month’s Great North Run, he said: “Gemma is a good friend and so the first thing I thought of when I took up running was to run on behalf of her.
“I’m hopeful that I will get a personal best, but it will give me greater satisfaction if I can raise lots of money.”
Gemma said: “Dominic is going to go through the pain barrier for people with dementia and their loved ones which is really fantastic for everyone who knows what a terrible impact dementia can have on whole families.”
To sponsor Dominic, visit www.sponsorme.co.uk/dominicharris/great-north-run-2015.aspx/