‘Any Mile is Better’ for Sidmouth Running Club’s dementia campaigner Jo Earlam

PUBLISHED: 11:13 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:13 20 October 2017

Jo Earlam during her incredible '10 half marathons in the space of four weeks' effort.

Jo Earlam during her incredible '10 half marathons in the space of four weeks' effort.

Archant

Sidmouth Running Club member and coach Jo Earlam has just completed an epic 10 half-marathons in just four weeks to raise money and awareness for dementia, with the vision that ‘Any Mile is Better’, writes Monica Read.

The 130-mile route was completed in sections by former South West journalist Jo, supported by friends and family.

The challenge began with the Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday, September 17, and ended with the Exeter Half Marathon on Sunday, October 15.

In between, the route covered a further eight half-marathon distances, also taking in the dementia fundraising Muddifords Cheese Run on the second Sunday of the month.

Jo, a 52-year-old former newspaper and BBC local radio journalist, has completed a variety of self-organised challenges for several different charities over the last 20 years.

As a supporter of the Bristol-based dementia research charity BRACE, she wanted to organise a special event to mark the charity’s 30th anniversary year - the original idea being to run from Swansea to Plymouth, taking in all the centres where BRACE funds research, covering a distance of around 260 miles, or 10 marathons.

Following the sudden death of her mum, Rosemary, in April, and the diagnosis of her husband John with cognitive impairment and early signs of dementia in June, Jo decide to modify her plans.

Jo said: “These life events had a significant impact on me and the type of challenge I can commit to. As a carer, I need to balance things I now do around John. Being away from home for an extended time would be difficult, also fitting in the extra training needed for a longer sustained physical challenge.

“John’s has already suffered strokes and the prognosis of increased risk of developing vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s makes me determined to do something. My original idea was no longer feasible, but the reduced route distance and staggered time lapse of this challenge was achievable.

“The concept that any mile is better than none was inspired by a walk I regularly do, of about a mile, with scenic views and points of interest. It’s always a boost to get out in the fresh air and countryside even for 15 or 20 minutes.

“Physical activity plays an important part in helping to stave off dementia, which is one of my worries about my own health. The more we can do to raise money, awareness and stay healthy, the better chance there is of combatting this cruel disease.”

BRACE chief executive Mark Poarch said: “Jo’s a true inspiration to fundraisers across the region. I’m always impressed by people who run to raise money for BRACE, but going from Bristol to Exeter is something else. The money Jo is raising will help fund leading-edge research into the causes of dementia so we can move closer to developing effective treatments in the future.”

Read more about Jo’s experiences and make a donation at https://anymileisbetter.com

Other Sport Stories

08:00

The past week was an excellent one for Phear Park, blessed with wonderful weather and some magnificent exciting bowls and the whole week was very well run by a small and dedicated committee, writes David Evans.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:45

Exmouth Town were beaten 1-0 on their Wednesday night visit to Tavistock in what was their second outing of the new South West Peninsula League Premier Division campaign.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:29

East Budleigh Garage was the kind sponsor of the club’s summer ride.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:33

The week got off to an amazing start when the Madeira ladies’ team beat Honiton in the Grace Mathews Topclub, writes Mary Ann Dowrick.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:30

Following the Girls’ Championships, East Devon Golf Club had a flurry of competitions in the last week or so, writes Mike Knapton.

Read more
Wed, 13:52

Budleigh Salterton began a new South West Peninsula League Eastern Division campaign with a narrow defeat on their visit to Crediton United, writes Steve Birley.

Read more
Wed, 13:11

Otterton drag racer Baxter Williams and his father Gary were back in Lincolnshire last weekend where Baxter was in action at the George Brown Memorial Sprint.

Read more
Wed, 10:31

Exmouth Town head for Tavistock tonight (Wednesday), looking to continue their winning start to the new South West Peninsula League Premier Division season.

Read more
Wed, 10:31

Jake Smith from Axe Valley has had a brilliant year, setting several road and track personal bests, and it was no surprise that he obliterated the field in the Haldon Forest Flyer, writes Cathy Newman.

Read more
Tue, 14:00

The week-long Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club August Tournament is always a highlight of the South West’s croquet calendar, writes Peter Moore.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read Sport

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Exmouth Journal twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Show Job Lists

Find planning applications