Louisa Davidson would never have considered herself a natural-born runner. But, after failing to get on with running 10 years ago, Louisa has completed two half marathons in the space of six months and is now training for her first attempt at the full distance in London next month. Read on to find out her story, what makes her a Dementia Revolutionary and why she’s the perfect example of if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
My story starts just over 10 years ago. I tried – and failed – to start running in an effort to lose weight, but 5k was my absolute limit and I hated how it made me feel. Running was hard work, extremely sweaty and I ended up with bad shin splints. I desperately wanted to enjoy running but I truly believed that some people were born runners – and I just wasn’t one of them.
Fast forward to 2018, however, and I decided to give running a second chance.
My older brother had started ultra-running and I agreed to crew for him at the West Highland Way race. I was just in awe of his running achievements and, in the months leading up to the event, I made what has turned out to be a life-changing decision – I entered my very first half marathon.
In the beginning, the training was very challenging, but quitting was not an option. I quickly found that the fitter I became, the more I enjoyed running, and I started to believe that maybe, just maybe, I could be a runner after all.
By October 2018, I had completed two half marathons and started to believe that a marathon was within my reach. But I needed something to give me that final push to enter.
Becoming a revolutionary
I had heard about the Dementia Revolution through the London Marathon. They are the official charity partner this year and the campaign really struck a chord: my grandpa lived with dementia in his later years. When I found out that my application had been accepted, I felt truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to become a part of the Dementia Revolution, yet absolutely terrified at the huge training task ahead.
But living on a small Scottish island, I am blessed with beautiful scenery and fresh, sea air. It’s hard not to be inspired. I no longer run to burn calories or lose weight. Running for me offers an escape from day-to-day life, it gives me time to properly appreciate my surroundings. It’s the perfect spot to train for the marathon.
Running in grandpa’s memory
I’ll be running the London Marathon in my grandpa’s memory. I hope that he will be looking down on me and cheering me across the line on the day. Over 1,400 Dementia Revolutionaries are signed up to run in London and the money we raise for Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society will help fund the UK Dementia Research Institute.
I hope that we’ll find a cure for dementia in my lifetime and I am so incredibly proud to be a part of the Dementia Revolution this year.
Louisa is running to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. Alzheimer’s Research UK are the UK’s leading Alzheimer’s research charity aiming to defeat dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, there for anyone affected by any form of dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.