A FATHER and daughter running duo are swapping the capital’s parks for roads closer to home in a quest to raise money for a cause close to their hearts.

Ray Castle and Clare Webb would normally have been preparing for the Royal Parks Half Marathon, in London on Sunday.

However, because of the pandemic, it is taking place virtually again this year, so the super-fit duo will be taking on the same 13.1-mile challenge around the streets of Colchester.

They will be raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Ray said: “Our run will be taking in Straight Road, Abbey Fields and Shrub End and we’ll be starting around 7am.

“We’ll be doing it for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of my mother-in-law, Aida Higginson, who sadly passed away from this horrible condition ten years ago, aged 74.

“It’s an awful disease and seeing her struggle as she did was very hard to take, because she was such a strong woman.

“It really took hold of her within the space of a couple of years and made her unrecognisable, which was very sad indeed.

“That’s why this charity means so much to us. It’s very close to our hearts.”


The Royal Parks Half Marathon, one of the capital’s biggest half marathons with over 16,000 participants, normally starts and finishes in Hyde Park.

It is the only half marathon that travels through central London and four of the Royal Parks.

“I’ve run it four or five times and Clare joined me two years ago,” said Ray, who has completed the London Marathon twice.

“It’s a great event and there’s always a special atmosphere, with a real camaraderie between the runners and crowds.

“This year, like last year, will obviously be a bit different but we’re looking forward to it.

“If there is anyone around to cheer us on we’d be so grateful and will appreciate any support we get along the way.

“People will see us coming as we’ll be wearing our Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Society T-shirts. Julie, my wife, and Clare’s children, Ella, 13, and Aimee, 11, will be there to cheer us on.”

Carpenter Ray, 66, and nurse Clare, 38, run together every week and hope to raise £200. Anyone wishing to donate can head HERE.