Professor rides out to raise cash for Alzheimer’s Research

Richard Swarbrick is taking part in a 100-mile charity ride.
Richard Swarbrick is taking part in a 100-mile charity ride.
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A Durham University professor is saddling up to take part in a 100-mile charity bike ride.

Geology professor Richard Swarbrick, from Durham, will take part in the RideLondon-Surrey 100 on August 1 to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The 60-year-old has been training hard for his biggest cycling challenge so far.

Richard, an honorary professor who runs his own company as a geopressure consultant, will set off from London’s Olympic Park, then travel through Surrey countryside, before returning to London and the finish point at The Mall.

He is hoping to raise more than £1,500.

Richard was spurred on to do the ride after losing his mother-in-law and uncle to the disease.

He said: “My mother-in-law was a wonderfully hospitable woman, and very intelligent, with a first-class degree from Oxford.

“I lost my own mother when I was young, so she was a very important part of my life after I was married, as well as a wonderful grandmother to my children. For both her and my uncle, the disease made life very difficult.

“It made sense to me to support Alzheimer’s Research UK, as we still need to understand what causes this disease and how to fight it.

“In my fundraising so far I’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity.

“I know that a lot of people have experienced dementia in their families, and so many people have remarked on what a good cause it is.

“I’m training every weekend to prepare for the challenge.

“Since I started cycling seven years ago I’ve done a few big rides with friends from church, but I’ve never done 100 miles before and this is definitely a challenge.

“It will certainly stretch me but I’m confident I can make it to the finish line.”

Claire Priestwood, regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias shatter lives, and with nearly 7,000 people in County Durham alone living with dementia, we urgently need ways to fight it.”

To sponsor Richard, visit his JustGiving page HERE, or to learn more about fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK email c.priestwood@alzheimersresearchuk.org or call 07799 902428.