Remember the name Susie Hewer, as you may well see it in record books again this year! Also known as ‘The Extreme Knitting Redhead’, the lovely Susie is planning to beat her own Guinness World Record for creating the longest crochet chain while running a marathon at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, all while raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Her current record stands at 77.4m (253ft) which she achieved in 2010, finishing in a time of 5hrs 42 mins. She was also the first person to run a marathon while knitting and set the original Guinness World Record for longest scarf in 2013, with yarn supplied by Deramores.
Susie took up running in 2002 and completed her first marathon two weeks after losing her mum, Peggy, who passed away with vascular dementia in 2005. Every race – including 31 marathons – is a tribute to Peggy and in the past 8 years Susie has raised over a staggering £30,000 for dementia research; enough to pay for 1,500 hours of world-class research and vital equipment for their scientists. Wow!
This year, the work doesn’t just begin at the start line. Susie will be crocheting a lap blanket as she travels to London and will continue until the marathon starts; once the race begins, it will be attached to her waist and she’ll start work on the crochet chain. When the marathon is complete, she’ll finish the blanket and finally attach her marathon-made chain to it before presenting the gift to someone suffering from dementia.
Susie also uses the concept of crochet to help educate those who are unaware of the impact dementia has on a person:
“I use crochet, which forms a series of interlocking chains, as a way of explaining how dementia breaks the link between brain cells. In a healthy brain, thoughts flow freely between each connected section, while dementia breaks the links between cells until the brain is no longer able to function. My mum also taught me to crochet when I was very young so it has an extra special meaning for me. Shortly before my last attempt I suffered neck problems following a car crash and had to use a really lightweight yarn. Even then it hurt my neck like mad. I have unfinished business and I’m confident I can crochet an even longer chain this year. Even though I’ll still have neck ache by the end of it, it will be worth it to help Alzheimer’s Research UK progress with its groundbreaking research.”
The work doesn’t stop there for superwoman, Susie Hewer. To mark her 57th birthday she will undertake a running challenge representing both the 5 and the 7 in her age. Over the next year Susie is planning to run a minimum of 5k every day for 5 months, and will complete an additional 7 marathons.
If you’d like to donate to Susie’s cause, you can find her donation page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/extremeknittingredhead.
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, please visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org