David Llewellyn & Mark Tarrant charity cycle right hand
Drs David Llewellyn and Mark Tarrant are preparing to cycle from London to Paris for Alzheimer's Society

Exeter researchers on final funding push for mammoth 350 mile charity cycle

Two researchers from the University of Exeter are gearing up to reach their funding goal for dementia research.

Drs Mark Tarrant and David Llewellyn plan to cycle from London to Paris to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society, to help fund work to gain new insights into dementia. Currently, the pair are £300 off their funding target of £1,550.

Dr Llewellyn, a dementia researcher, knows how tough preparation can be. He had planned to join a team of six dementia researchers on the ride last summer – but had to withdraw after breaking his wrist when he fell off his bike during training.

Dr Llewellyn said: “I’ve fallen off three times, broken my wrist and fainted with exhaustion after a long ride after work. I’m hoping that it will be second time lucky after having to drop out last year. Training with Mark has been great for motivation, and getting out of Exeter and into the countryside reminds me how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. A massive thank you to everyone who’s supported us so far.”

Dr Tarrant said: “I am really enjoying my training, much of it alongside David, although my body is protesting somewhat! My confidence is growing each week, and the two days we recently spent cycling across Dartmoor has really helped. The most worrisome moment so far was descending a 25% hill and feeling my back wheel slip out from under me as we turned a hair-pin bend. Thankfully there was no traffic and I have no injuries to speak of!”

The pair will embark on their four-day challenge in July this year arriving in Paris and crossing the Tour de France finish on the Champs D'Elysee.

Last year’s Exeter team raised more than £12,000 for Alzheimer’s Society.

Over the next couple of months the pair will build on their training to take on a gruelling 100 miles per day in the saddle for four days straight, to raise money for a cause close to their hearts.

Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. It provides information and support, funds research, campaigns to improve care and creates lasting change for people affected by dementia.

With someone in the UK developing dementia every three minutes, the need to unite in the fight against dementia has never been more pressing.

Dementia is one of the University of Exeter’s key research focus areas, with outstanding research quality and a growing body of internationally-renowned academics. All the team has received support from Alzheimer’s Society over recent years for their ground-breaking dementia research.

Dr Llewellyn works on lifestyle risk factors in dementia including the role of Vitamin D, and is also working on improving diagnostic methods. Dr Tarrant’s work aims to improve quality of life for people with debilitating conditions.

You can support the pair’s fundraising via Dr Tarrant’s JustGiving page.

Date: 21 May 2018

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