Marathon run in memory of late mother

A FORMER lorry driver who took up running at the age of 63 to try to ease the pain of losing his mother - an Alzheimer's victim - is training to take part in the London Marathon.

By David Green

A FORMER lorry driver who took up running at the age of 63 to try to ease the pain of losing his mother - an Alzheimer's victim - is training to take part in the London Marathon.

Michael Pearce, now 64, who lives with his wife, Margaret, at Owls Green, Dennington, said when his mother had developed the disease it had been very stressful for them both and their relationship with each other.

“The Alzheimer's set in really hard - it was very virulent - and it was awful seeing someone very close deteriorate in this way.


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“It started with her becoming irritable and then the forgetfulness started to occur. It seemed to get worse every day,” he said.

The pain of that traumatic experience and his mother's subsequent death 18 months ago at the age of 85 had remained with him.

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To try to ease the pain he had decided to take up running - more than 30 years after the last time he had really exerted himself as a sportsman, on the football field with Framlingham Town.

“My mother's death affected me deeply and I found that running helped to ease the pain of losing someone so close.

"Last May I started running just a few hundred yards three times a week, after getting the all-clear from my GP. By the end of the year I was doing up to 10 miles in one go. Not bad for an old 'un!” Mr Pearce said.

However, he had an early setback in his plans to run in the London Marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.

He failed to obtain a starting place in the general ballot and was then told by the Alzheimer's Society that all its places had been taken.

“I was on the point of giving up but my daughter suggested another charity, Sense, whose patron is HRH The Princess Royal. They do wonderful work with deaf and blind people and welcomed my offer. I am sure my mum would have approved, “ Mr Pearce said.

He has already run a continuous 12-mile stretch as part of his training programme and hopes to complete 14 miles on Saturday.

Also part of his programme in the run-up to the marathon on April 22 is a half-marathon event at the Silverstone race circuit on March 18.

“I want to get used to running with other people - all my training so far has been on my own along local lanes,” Mr Pearce said.

Although he retired from full-time work with the ABN firm in Framlingham at the age of 60, he continued part-time until it closed in 2005. Now he works two days a week as a gardener.

Mr and Mrs Pearce have two grown-up children and one grandchild.

Anyone willing to sponsor him can do so online at www.justgiving.com/mickpearce or contact him at 1 Owls Green, Dennington, IP13 8BY, tel. 01728 638210

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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