Ruth Wilson to follow in father’s marathon footsteps for Alzheimer’s research

Actress Ruth Wilson is ready to follow in the footsteps of her father, who took part in the inaugural London Marathon in 1981, by running the race this year to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Wilson’s father Nigel, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, completed the run in a highly competitive three hours 15 minutes more than 40 years ago, a time the His Dark Materials star said she has “zero chance” of getting near.

She will be joined by family members on April 21, including her brothers Toby, Matt and Sam and her nephew Theo, with the group already raising more than £15,000.

Actress Ruth Wilson after she was made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London
Wilson will be joined by family members at the marathon (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“There’s zero chance of us getting anywhere near Dad’s time, but he will be in our hearts and driving us towards the finish line,” Wilson said.

“While the London Marathon will be the toughest physical challenge of our lives, we’re determined to do everything we can to support Alzheimer’s Research UK and the amazing work they do.

“I’ve been astounded by people’s support for our fundraising. This run is for Dad, but also for anyone who has been through a similar journey with their loved-ones.

“Research is our best hope of overcoming dementia and we’re proud to play our part.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said that at the current rate, one in every two people will be directly affected by dementia, which could mean they develop the condition themselves or find themselves caring for someone who has it.

The charity is aiming to find a cure through investing in research to change the way the condition is treated, diagnosed and prevented.

“We’re delighted to have Ruth, her brothers and nephew joining our team of runners taking part in the TCS London Marathon to support our search for a cure,” Alzheimer’s Research UK chief executive Hilary Evans said.

“By taking part in this iconic event, they’ll not only raise vital funds for research in honour of Nigel, but also help shine a much-needed spotlight on dementia and the importance of research to tackle it.”

To find out more about Ruth and her family’s fundraising, visit