What It Takes To...
Run to a new home; and man up to running
RSPCA inspector and keen runner Marie Hammerton goes one better than walkies with the homeless pooches in her care – she takes them to the local Parkrun. ‘I’m a regular at Parkrun so I thought I could help by giving the dogs some exercise at the same time,’ says the 31-year-old from Basildon in Essex. ‘They really enjoy it. I make sure I run at their pace and we take breaks, or stop, if they don’t want to carry on running. The other runners are excited to see them – they are treated like celebrities!’
A weekly run isn’t just an opportunity for the dogs to stretch their legs and enjoy some attention: many of Marie’s charges have landed themselves new homes, thanks to the publicity she has generated on social media for ‘ barkrun’. ‘One week, I took along a cocker spaniel called Marley and a runner fell in love with him and has since rehomed him. It’s lovely because I still get to see him regularly.’
Marie’s ongoing dogged determination to help her four-legged friends has had another unexpected benefit: ‘One dog, Nevada, was so fast over the 5K course that I finished with a new PB,’ she says.