A HOST of stars are preparing to go the distance in the Great South Run tomorrow.
Comedian Hugh Dennis and TV health expert Dr Hilary Jones will join 24,000 other runners when they strap on their running shoes in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and take on the 10-mile course in Portsmouth.
It will be the second time TV comic Hugh – star of popular series Outnumbered and Mock the Week – has entered the race, having been forced to pull out last year following an ankle injury.
He joins the health editor of ITV’s Daybreak in leading the Alzheimer’s Society team of over 1,300 runners who are taking part in tomorrow’s main event.
Hugh said: ‘I’m thrilled to be returning to Portsmouth this year for the Bupa Great South Run.
‘Watching the runners from the sidelines last year was so disappointing, so I’m pleased to be coming back.
‘This run has a great 10-mile course with a fantastic atmosphere, so I’m delighted to be able to run again for the Alzheimer’s Society.
‘One of the early Outnumbered plots centred around my character’s father-in-law who was in the early stages of the disease. It really brought home to me the tough decisions many families face.’
Dr Jones, pictured, and his partner, celebrity fitness trainer Dee Thresher, are entering the 10-mile run for the third time.
He said: ‘Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain and can affect anyone.
‘There are over 750,000 people with dementia in the UK and that figure is set to double in the next 30 years.
‘We desperately need the resources to support people with dementia and their carers today and to fund vital research to find a cure tomorrow.’
This is the third and final year of the charity partnership between Bupa and Alzheimer’s Society and since 2009 more than £3.5m has been raised to fight dementia, with 27,000 people running in support of the charity.
Dr Graham Stokes, director of dementia care at Bupa Care Services said: ‘We’re very pleased to have helped Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland raise such a substantial amount of money during our three year partnership.’
Other famous faces running in this year’s main event are Olympic gold medallist and television presenter Sally Gunnell, Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton, radio presenter Rick Jackson from Wave 105, consumer rights guru Martin Lewis from moneysavingexpert.com and former Olympic athlete-turned-television presenter Iwan Thomas.