Vicky Allison, 31 from Haslingden is taking part in Dog Jog Manchester to raise money for Dogs Trust.

Vicky first starting running last year after losing 5 stone in weight, as she was struggling to stay motivated. She explains:

“I thought I would give running a go, I was struggling to fit in training around dog walking, so decided to get my dog Ramsay into running. He ran 2-3 miles most days with me. I love the freedom that running gives you; to get out of the house and be able to go anywhere that your legs take you, it gives you time to think and distress.

I love running with a dog as I think it builds up a greater bond and trust between you and them, Ramsay was happiest when he was outside and was so focused when he ran, although people were very keen to move out of the way with a 40KG shepherd running towards them!”

At the beginning of April this year, Vicky received some devastating news about her German Shepherd, Ramsay.

“Ramsay was 6 ½ years old; we had him from 8 weeks. He had been poorly and deteriorated at the beginning of April, we made the heart-breaking decision to put him down a few days later. We spent his last few days doing everything he loved, long walks, running – he slept on the bed with us, drank beer, had steak for tea and cheeseburgers for breakfast – he was the happiest he had been in a long time.” she explained.

In order to help Vicky with the grief, she decided to take up running with her other dog, Riley.

“Shortly after Ramsay died, myself and my partner Chris completed the Manchester 10K in his memory raising over £500 for Dogs Trust, but with him no longer around I struggled to motivate myself to want to run again. Riley has since become my new running partner

He loves it, sometimes pulling me up hills when I’m ready to stop, he can easily run a 5K without tiring, so when I saw Dog Jog advertised online, I thought we would give it a go”.

“We have had Riley, our miniature schnauzer since he was 8 weeks old, he will be 6 in August (2 days after dog jog). At the time we got him as we wanted a friend for Ramsay (despite the obvious size differences!). He settled in straight away. He sleeps in our bed, loves to go everywhere with us, he has been in holidays to Cornwall, loves the pub, the beach, kisses and plenty of cuddles, he is a very affectionate dog and would spend every minute with us if he could.” she said.

Dog Jog Manchester takes place on Saturday 18th August at Heaton Park and provides a brilliant opportunity for runners to accomplish their personal goals with their dogs; whether raising money for a worthwhile cause or simply keeping fit.

Dog Jogs are all about a friendly, relaxed and fun atmosphere for everyone involved with no time limits or pressure. Each participant will receive a Doggy Bag jam-packed with goodies for both runner and dog to enjoy once they cross the finish line. There’s no other event like it in the UK.

The events are also a great way for participants to raise money for a charity they really care about, whether it be a dog-related charity or otherwise.

Vicky said: “I thought it would be nice for him to do something in memory of Ramsay, on what would’ve been his 7th birthday. He will be running with his Dog Jog bandana on to raise some money from his doggy friends to help others at Dogs Trust.

Riley is so fortunate and it’s lovely that he can give something back by doing something that he loves.”

“We are both very much looking forward to Dog Jog, it will be a nice change to be running with so many dogs instead of people and I’m sure the atmosphere will be amazing. Riley loves other dogs and will be so excited to see so many in one place, and I think his (or maybe my!) competitive side is bound to come out!”

Entries for the Dog Jog series are now open for all events throughout the UK. For more information and to find an event near you, visit the website: www.dogjog.co.uk.

To read more about Vicky’s story and donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rileysrunforramsay