A TEAM of runners from Blackburn will be making history when they compete in the prestigious Manchester Marathon in April.

For the 96 runners will be attempting to complete the 26 mile course as a relay with 24 teams of four runners each undertaking different stages of the race - all to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Those taking part have either come through the hugely successful Couch 2 5K programme based in Witton Park or are members of Blackburn Road Runners.

The marathon relay was the brainchild of Dave Lloyd, a member of Blackburn Road Runners who is a volunteer with the Couch 2 5K programme and his wife Sue who is also a Couch 2 5K regular.

“I lost my mum four years ago to Alzheimer’s,” said Dave, “and sadly Sue’s parents were both later diagnosed with the disease on the same day.”

Dave of Keswick Drive, Blackburn, is well known in sporting circles, having been associated with Blackburn Olympic football club for more than 40 years.

He is no stranger to challenges - when he was 60 two years ago he completed four marathons in just 22 days - but the marathon relay has proved to be his biggest test yet.

“I did the London Marathon and raised £3,000 for Alzheimer’s Research,” he said, “and I just got the idea of doing a relay.

“No-one has ever done it before but I approached the organisers of the Manchester event and after a lot of discussions they finally agreed to it. I was thinking we might get the odd team of four to take part but when we mentioned it to the Couch 2 5k runners and Blackburn Road Runners so many people immediately wanted to get involved, it was amazing.

“We’ve had to stop now we have got 96 people and we are going to approach the Guinness Book of World Records to see if they will take a look at what we are doing.”

Sue to her parents’ coindition Sue has been forced to give up her job as an auxiliary nurse to help care for them.

“So many people are either directly affected or knows of someone affected by this terrible disease,” she said. “We just want to try and raise as much money as possible.”

The Blackburn relay team will all be donning bright orange Alzheimer’s Research UK T-shirts on the day and are currently in training for the event. Dave and Sue will be part of the final leg along with son Anthony and daughter Sarah

To sponsor the team visit www.justgiving.com/team/forgetmenots96