Runners raising money in dementia care tribute

1 July 2013

Five runners are taking on this year’s Great North Run to fundraise thousands of pounds for a North Yorkshire dementia charity in tribute to a former ‘marathon man’.

The team will run the Tyneside half marathon in aid of Dementia Forward and in tribute to Alan Christie: a keen marathon and half marathon runner who was supported by the charity until his death from Alzheimer’s on 9 September 2012.

Three of the five runners are members of Alan’s family:

Alan’s son, Dave Christie, 44;

Alan’s daughter, Alison Reilly (nee Christie), 40;

and Alan’s son-in-law, Matt Reilly, 35.

The Christie family used donations collected at Alan’s funeral to pay for Dementia Forward’s Great North Run places.


 Runners Dave Christie, Alison and Matt Reilly, and Bernadette Mossman, with Dementia Forward’s Netty Newell
Runners Dave Christie, Alison and Matt Reilly, and Bernadette Mossman, with Dementia Forward’s Netty Newell


The team’s other two runners are James Rycroft, 40, and Bernadette Mossman, 47, the managing director and healthcare director at dementia care specialists Vida Healthcare.

Alan Christie’s daughter, Alison Reilly, said:

Dementia Forward’s help and support meant Dad was able to continue running for a long time after he was diagnosed, earning the nickname ‘marathon man’ from those who knew him at the charity.

Dad was 48 when he took up running, and he completed 14 marathons and 112 half marathons between 1987 and 2004.

Running the Great North Run to raise money for the people that supported Dad during his final years felt like a fitting tribute to him and a way to give something back to Dementia Forward.

Please sponsor us online at as Dementia Forward relies on fundraising and donations, but the work they do is priceless.


Dementia Forward’s Community Liaison Officer, Netty Newell, said:

We’re very thankful to Alan Christie’s family for supporting us in this way – it’s a great way to pay tribute to Alan.

We’d love it if everybody got behind our runners and sponsored them, as any funds raised by our team will be invested in supporting local people living with dementia, and those who care for them.

Anyone wanting to fundraise for Dementia Forward can call us on 01765 645904 – we’re always happy to hear from anyone who wants to support our cause.


The runners will be updating sponsors with their progress using Dementia Forward’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, where they’ll be using the hashtag #GNRforAlan.

The team will run the Great North Run’s 13.1-mile course on 15 September 2013.

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