My Three Hour Marathon Challenge, Josh Domb

19 Feb 2018

A few years ago my grandma started showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. This swiftly progressed into a pretty full blown case of dementia and, in the space of just a couple of years, my grandma went from being lucid, sharp and independent, to being unable to speak more than a word or two at a time.  Her ability to do so many of the things that we take for granted almost entirely disappeared. It’s an utterly horrible disease to live with.

As those who have dealt with a relative living with dementia will know, in many ways the concern is not so much the person themselves as the impact they are having on the people around them.  My grandpa at the age of 85, had been forced into the role of a full time care giver. In addition to worrying about what would happen to my grandma, my dad had no idea how long my grandpa might himself be able to deal with that pressure before it all became too much for him.

How Jewish Care helped 

From the moment my family first reached out to Jewish Care they have been absolutely brilliant. The charity runs a number of weekly events which anyone can attend to get information and support. Specalised activity classes in dementia day centres are also run to engage people living with dementia as well as giving their carers much needed restpite. Jewish Care also manage a number of full time care homes around the South East, one of which my  grandma has been a permanent resident of for about two years now.

Whilst she still smiles when she sees me, any sense of who I (or indeed anyone else is) seems to have gone.  As you might expect, her quality of life certainly isn’t what it once was. That being said, I have always taken huge comfort from the standard of care that the team at Jewish Care provide to her on so many levels.  It makes the world of difference when you see someone in those circumstances clapping along to music, tapping their foot to a beat and, occasionally, smiling and laughing.  This certainly isn’t what my grandma would ever have wanted, but I take constant comfort from knowing that her quality of life is as good as it can be.

My challenge

From the moment my grandma went into full time care I was desperate to find a way to show my appreciation for everything that Jewish Care had already done for her. Although this won't be the first time I have run the London marathon for Jewish Care, I am constantly striving to set myself bigger and bigger targets in terms of fundraising and finishing time. 

This year I am hoping to raise £3,000 to help support Jewish Care in the crucial work they do every day. I have also set myself the challenge of completing the marathon in under three hours. I appreciate that this is an incredibly hard target, but one I'd love to achieve. 

My training

Since 1 September 2017 I have put down something in the region of 700km of running in training, culminating in a pretty strong personal best in early January of 1 hour 24 minutes at the Farnborough Half Marathon (good enough for 38th place out of 1600 runners!) in some pretty torrid conditions.

There's a long way to go yet, but i'm confident I can reach my dual target of sub three hours and raising £3,000. Every penny counts, please help me and Jewish Care to carry on providing quality care to those in the community who need us most.  

To make a donation for Josh's marathon challenge please visit: