What It Takes To...

Run to a new home; and man up to run­ning

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents - rspca.org.uk/find­apet

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.

HOMEWARD BOUND Marie with Jess

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