Birmingham runner to 'suit up' for half marathon in aid of dementia research

Birmingham fundraiser Dave McGarry is set to turn heads on Sunday (19 Oct) when he dons a suit to take on the Bupa Great Birmingham Run for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The manager for Michael Page Finance – part of specialist recruitment company PageGroup – will be joined by six colleagues as they tackle the half marathon for the firm’s chosen charity together. But while other runners are lacing up their running shoes, Dave will be buttoning up his shirt for the event – which will see him run the 13-mile route in a full suit complete with tie, cufflinks and a briefcase. Along the way, he and his team hope to raise £1,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.
Dave and his co-workers’ efforts are part of an ongoing programme of fundraising by PageGroup employees, which began when the company selected Alzheimer’s Research UK for a two-year charity partnership last year. Over the course of two years, staff aim to raise £200,000 to support two PageGroup Research Scholarships, bringing two bright researchers into the dementia research field on PhD programmes.
Dave’s infamous suits have becoming an outfit of choice for a number of challenges – including a skydive and PageGroup’s annual Yorkshire Three Peaks fundraising event, which he took part in over the summer.
Dave, who is now known to his colleagues as ‘Suitman’, explained:
“I signed up for the half marathon because I’ve been doing the Insanity fitness programme, and as that comes to an end I thought this would be a good way to bow out. I’d already done the skydive and the Yorkshire Three Peaks in a suit, so I thought it seemed right to continue to theme. When I did the Three Peaks, I definitely got noticed hiking in a suit with no waterproofs! It was a wet weekend and that suit couldn’t be recovered afterwards. This will be first time I’ve tried running in a suit though.
“I thought the Great Birmingham Run would be a great thing for my team to do together and we’re pleased to be raising money for charity at the same time. We’re doing this with very little preparation and we’re not aiming for the fastest time, for us it’s more about team bonding. I’m looking forward to running with 20,000 other people and it will be good to have colleagues, friends and family there to cheer us on. Now we’re just counting down and trying to raise as much money as we can to support this worthwhile cause.”
Miranda Johnson, Head of Corporate and Community Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: 
“What a brilliant challenge! Dave has come up with such an eye-catching way to raise money, and we can’t thank him and his colleagues enough for their support. The money raised by PageGroup employees is helping to fund two new dementia scientists, making a huge difference to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s work.
“Currently over 10,000 people in Birmingham alone are living with dementia, and we urgently need better treatments to tackle the condition. We rely on donations to be able to fund our research, and it’s thanks to supporters like Dave and his colleagues at PageGroup that we’re able to continue our work.”
To sponsor Dave and the team, visit, or to learn more about corporate partnerships with Alzheimer’s Research UK, email or call 0300 111 5 555.
For further information, or to speak with Dave McGarry or Miranda Johnson, please contact Kirsty Marais, Media and Communications Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5 666, 07826 559233 or email
Notes to editors:
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading charity specialising in finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia.
  • We rely on donations to fund our vital dementia research. To help us defeat dementia, donate today by visiting or calling 0300 111 5555.
  • We are currently supporting dementia research projects worth over £22 million in leading Universities across the UK.  
  • Our Defeat Dementia campaign, a pledge to raise £100 million in five years to grow the research field and accelerate progress towards new treatments and preventions, was announced by the Prime Minister at the G8 legacy event on 19 June 2014. For more information visit 
About PageGroup (
PageGroup is a specialist recruitment consultancy with 38 years of expertise. It has 155 offices in 36 countries worldwide, comprising of three core brands; Page Executive, Michael Page and Page Personnel. Rebranded to ‘PageGroup’ from Michael Page International in late 2012, the company is the leading provider of permanent, contract and temporary recruitment for clerical professionals, qualified professionals and executives. Through organic growth it has become a FTSE 250 company with more than 5,337 employees globally. It operates a consultative approach combining local know-how with global expertise, to find the best fit between client and candidate.