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Running for Mum

RUNNING FOR MUM

At around Christmas time in 2016, Victoria Brown, 23 from Leeds life turned upside down when she realised her mum had Motor Neurone Disease.

“We started noticing that something wasn’t quite right. We assumed she’d had one too many
drinks, but by February the doctors were concerned that she’d had a stroke. By April 2017 she was diagnosed with MND and lost most of her ability to speak and swallow” Victoria said.

Motor Neurone Disease is a degenerative condition that affects the brain and nerves. Over time, it causes weakness and loss of function in arms, legs, speech, ability to swallow and, eventually, breathing. The average life expectancy for someone with MND is 3-5 years. There is a 1 in 300 chance of getting MND and there is no cure.

“Mum has a type of MND called Progressive Bulbar Palsy, which notably sees weakness in speech and swallowing. It has an average life expectancy of 6 months to 3 years.” said Victoria.

Victoria decided to do something positive and raise money for the MND Association by signing up to take part in Dog Jog Leeds which takes place at Roundhay Park on Saturday 21st July. Dog Jog 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.

“As a family we used to take part in fun runs, and really enjoyed them, so it’s great to be taking part again. But this is an event that Oscar can be a part of, and that is so important to us.

One thing Mum misses about life before MND is walking Oscar around the park. When Mum was in hospital after the diagnosis she wept over how much she missed him, and even now he will sit as close to Mum’s wheelchair as possible. This event means Oscar can raise money for his mummy too.” Victoria explained.

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.

Victoria said; “Right from the start, the Motor Neurone Disease Association has been incredible.

They provided financial support for my mum, and equipment loans to help improve her quality of life when her condition is rapidly changing. They provide emotional support through their helpline and there is a very supportive community – Mum regularly attends groups with her local branch, which helps her not to feel so alone.”

However, Victoria isn’t so sure how much her four-legged friend Oscar is looking forward to his first ever Dog Jog!

“Oscar is our ten year old pug, and is completely spoilt. He joined our family as a six week old puppy, and helped my mum overcome a long battle with depression. He’s lazy, greedy, silly and utterly adored – and he won’t know what’s hit him on 21st July!”

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 Victoria’s story and donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/victoria-brown95 

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Melissa and Bailey’s Dog Jog for the Love of Beagles

MELISSA & BAILEY’S DOG JOG FOR THE LOVE OF BEAGLES

Melissa and Bailey, her 4 year old Beagle, have entered Dog Jog in Southampton to fundraise for Beagle Welfare as a thank you to the charity who brought them together.

Bailey found himself in the care of Beagle Welfare after a very difficult and turbulent start in life. “Beagle Welfare do outstanding work for beagles in need, from ex-laboratory dogs to puppy farms and everything in between – their work is immeasurable”. Melissa explained.

Melissa’s family have another Beagle named Ben and adopted Bailey in September 2015 to complete their pack . “Bailey is one of the best things to happen to us” Melissa explained. “He has changed our lives in many ways and him and his brother adore each other.”

Having found his forever home, Bailey has settled in well and enjoys an active lifestyle with his family. “He has an amazingly sweet and bouncy personality and he makes us laugh and smile every single day”.

Explaining why they are taking part in Dog Jog for Beagle Welfare Melissa said: “We want to do what we can to say thank you for bringing Bailey into our lives and to support them in doing everything they can for the Beagles. Bailey says arooooo!””

Good luck to this paw-fect pair! To support Melissa and Bailey’s fundraising for Beagle Welfare visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melissaandbailey

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Mum’s 5K Fight for Child Mental Health

MUMS 5K FIGHT FOR CHILD MENTAL HEALTH

Rachel Pocock and her Cockapoo Snoopy are taking part in Dog Jog Brighton together to shine a spotlight on child mental health and raise vital funds for The Mental Health Foundation as their family have experienced the devastating effects that child mental health conditions can have.

Aged 38, Rachel had always wanted to take part in a charity 5k however was anxious to enter one in the past. “When I saw Dog Jog I knew it was time and even better I get to do it with Snoopy who has given my girls so much help and support with their mental health” Rachel said.

When Rachel’s eldest daughter Maisie was diagnosed with severe anxiety at age 7, she witnessed her daughters health deteriorate explaining “she lost that sparkle in her eye”. After a series of funding obstacles Maisie eventually accessed therapy but was later diagnosed with Autism, severe OCD and Tourette’s aged 10.

“OCD is heart wrenching you feel literally helpless as a parent” Rachel explained. Maisie battles against her conditions everyday which take a significant emotional toll on her wellbeing including obsessive hand washing and contact with others.  “She would get so emotionally upset screaming through fear, as a parent it’s devastating not being able to comfort your child which is the most natural thing any parent wants to do”.

Rachel’s youngest daughter Lillie, aged 8, is currently being assessed by CAMHS and also suffers from extreme anxiety. “Sadly it’s the same story we are faced with again due to a chronic lack of funding and staff shortages means long waiting lists for assessment. Mental health is 24/7 and at times it’s like a speed train crashing through everything”.

Due to a lack of understanding of children’s mental health, Rachel’s family became increasingly isolated with Maisie and Lillie suffering the impact at school too. “People mistake Maisie and Lillie’s behaviour as attention seeking or being badly behaved but sadly it’s all down to a lack of knowledge of mental health and even today people still don’t fully understand it”. Even the simplest of things most people take for granted are a struggle for Maisie and Lillie such as visiting the park or public places. “They look like every other little girl their age however it’s not the case, everything they do their own anxiety monster has a plan”. Maisie named her anxiety monster “Nugget” as a coping mechanism.

Despite the difficulties they face everyday, Rachel explained “We work together as a family and always look for the positive. We teach them different strategies to help deal with each problem at a time hoping to build them a tool box of strategies”. “Both girls are truly amazing to face everyday as it comes and always do their best. They are inspirational, loving girls who I am blessed to have and just long to be accepted and have genuine friends”.

“Snoopy is Maisie’s best friend and soulmate” Rachel explains. Snoopy is a much needed friend and support for Maisie everyday and helps by combatting her isolation and making everyday activities easier to cope with. “He opens doors for her, picks things up off the floor and applies pressure on her to make her feel safe when needed”.

Rachel and Snoopy hope to raise as much as they can to help other children and families and highlight awareness of child mental health conditions. “I’m proud they are my girls and I’m proud to be their mum and I’m proud to be saying whilst running on their behalf “in your face Nugget!”

To support Rachel and Snoopy’s fundraising as they take on Dog Jog together for The Mental Health Foundation visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rachel-pocock1

 

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Have a Bark in the Park in 2018 with Dog Jog

Dog Jog 2017

HAVE A BARK IN THE PARK IN 2018 AT DOG JOG

All 20 events in the 2018 Dog Jog series have now been launched which encourages owners to get fit and have fun with their four-legged friends this summer.

Taking place from July-October, the 5K events are aimed at all ages and abilities which will reap great benefits for both owner and dog. The events are set in some of the most scenic settings throughout the UK, encouraging runners to have a ‘bark in the park’ with their canine companions.

Following the success of the Dog Jog series last year, 3 brand new venues – Eastbourne, Gateshead and Middlesbrough have been added to the 20 event-long line-up to complete the events biggest series to date.

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.

Event Director, Neil Kilgour said: “This is the first event of it’s kind in the UK and promises to attract thousands of dogs and their owners to get fit and have fun in 2018.”

“The Dog Jogs are a fantastic opportunity for you and your canine companion to get some fresh air and meet other like-minded people and dogs in your local area. Even better, your pooch can decide the pace –  walking, jogging or running hounds are all welcomed”.

“We want to ensure that every dog has the best experience possible and that’s why we are putting every effort into making sure they leave with their tails wagging for days! When you cross the finish line, you’ll receive a fantastic jam-packed Doggy Bag for you and your dog to enjoy and reflect on the wonderful achievement.”

The Dog Jog Series 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.

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.

The 2018 Dog Jog events are:

  • Brighton – 14th July 2018
  • Southampton – 15th July 2018
  • Leeds – 21st July 2018
  • Nottingham – 22nd July 2018
  • Glasgow – 28th July 2018
  • Edinburgh – 29th Luly 2018
  • Maidstone – 4th August 2018
  • Eastbourne *New for 2018* – 5th August 2018
  • Derby – 11th August 2018
  • Sheffield – 12th August 2018
  • Manchester – 18th August 2018
  • Liverpool – 19th August 2018
  • Ipswich – 1st September 2018
  • Milton Keynes – 2nd September 2018
  • Birmingham – 8th September 2018
  • Coventry – 9th September 2018
  • Gateshead *New for 2018* – 20th October 2018
  • Middlesbrough *New for 2018* – 21st October 2018
  • London Crystal Palace Park – 27th October 2018
  • London Victoria Park – 28th October 2018
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#GivingTuesday – A Global Movement

#GIVINGTUESDAY – A GLOBAL MOVEMENT

We’re grateful, humbled and proud that our event provides a fundraising platform for so many runners each year. Every act of generosity counts, and each means even more when we give together.

Sean McAllister ran this year for our official charity partner Cancer Research UK, here is his story:

‘Cancer is a subject very close to my heart. When I lost my dad, I lost my best friend. It’s a horrible illness and I would like to do anything I can to prevent others going through what my dad, myself and my family went through during his illness.

At the beginning the prognosis was positive, as they believed the cancer was only in the prostate. A further scan showed something the doctor described as “suspicious” on his liver. But they focussed on treating the prostate, initially with hormone treatment and later with chemotherapy, resolving to revisit the liver after the chemotherapy was complete.

My dad only managed three sessions of chemo and there were further complications. His health went downhill rapidly and sadly throughout his illness he was in a lot of pain. When tests showed it was terminal the doctor said he had possibly six to eight weeks, but he died seven days later at home surrounded by his family.

This year was my first experience of fundraising, but I am looking to do more in the future. I felt a lot of pride running so close to the passing of my dad. It was a great way to remember him; the devoted, hardworking, family man.’

Cancer Research UK is dedicated to finding kinder, more effective treatments for cancer. If you’ve been inspired, why not make your next challenge really count by signing up to run for charity at a Dog Jog near you in 2018 when entries open. Click here to find out more.

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Taryn and Rocco
Taryn and Rocco

Taryn and Rocco

In 2015, three consecutive injuries resulted in Taryn Preston, 32, from Manchester seriously damaging her knee. In May 2016 she had to undergo surgery to have her knee reconstructed using bone and tendons from her leg.

Basic things became huge tasks, things like sitting down in a chair or trying to put on socks were now a massive challenge for Taryn, not to mention painful. A flight of stairs could take up to 10 minutes to climb and she would have no energy left at the end of it. Taryn’s independence was removed as she was unable to drive for six months and she had to adjust to becoming socially isolated as she was only able to work from home. 

Two months before surgery, Taryn had been gifted a dachshund puppy, Rocco. Her recovery now meant that he was relegated to spending time in separate rooms for fear of him accidentally jumping and knocking her scars as she couldn’t move out of his excited way quick enough. As Taryn was getting used to relying on crutches, she was unable to hold his lead. Coupled with the fact that she couldn’t get very far, in the time it took her to walk 50 metres, he had been taken 1km and back by her parents.

Slowly things began to improve as Taryn regained some strength and function in her leg. Of course, Rocco was over the moon that the restrictions on their time together were lifted and he was able to enjoy more of Taryn’s attention. 

Taryn said: “As my confidence increased, I was able to take him back on solo walks which we both loved and it all aided my physio and recovery. These started at 50m slowly increasing the distance up to 5km and gradually increasing my speed to keep up with him.”

It became a daily routine to attend physio and then walk Rocco which they both benefitted from. 

Taryn said “I am now much further along in my recovery and this is why we have entered the Dog Jog. I am not too sure that i will be able to manage any jogging but my dog understands this and will simply love the atmosphere and being around everyone else. We will be striving to power walk the course and Heaton Park is where we spend most of our time so it will be a home from home for him. I want him to be able to enjoy something dog related and for him and cannot wait for him to receive his goody bag when we cross the finish line!”

Please wish a massive good luck to Taryn and Rocco who are taking part in Dog Jog Manchester this Sunday!

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Puppy love – fluffy bundle brings joy after heartbreak

Puppy love – fluffy bundle brings joy after heartbreak

Brendan Fay and his cockerspaniel Tilly are taking part in Dog Jog Milton Keynes this October to raise money for Saying Goodbye, a charity which provides information, advice, and support to anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby.

On 11th August 2016, Brendan and his wife Emily suffered a devastating miscarriage and didn’t know where to turn for support. Brendan wondered how his wife would carry on and 2 weeks later found Tilly, a beautiful puppy who was as old as his wife would have been pregnant. Brendan describes Tilly as “his wife’s little saviour”.
 
Then, one night whilst in front of the sofa when Coronation Street began the story of when Michelle miscarried, there was an article on Facebook saying ’Saying Goodbye’ were there to provide support and Brendan and Emily soon came across their Facebook page.
 
Brendan said, “Saying Goodbye just ’get it’, they have mainly supported my wife, Emily by talking to her and allowing her to have open support from her ’befriender’ as and when she needs it. They allowed us to grieve for our baby which before talking to them we’d never done.”
 
Brendan has become one of 1,000 Fundraising Champions for the charity and Dog Jog Milton Keynes is one of four events he is taking part in to try and raise £500 this year.
 
He said, “I am looking forward to taking part in a completely unique, fun afternoon – it’s not often your dog gets to take part in events with you!”

Taking place from July-October, the 5K events are aimed at all ages and abilities which will reap great benefits for both owner and dog. The events are set in some of the most scenic settings throughout the UK, encouraging runners to have a ‘bark in the park’ with their K9 companions.
 
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 post-race.
 
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.

Brendan said “Nearly a year on and our precious baby will never be forgotten but Tilly has helped to fill a very empty space. I couldn’t think of a better event to help raise money for such a worthwhile charity.”

You can supprt Brendan’s fundraising efforts by donating to his JustGiving page here – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brendan-fay.

For more information on Saying Goodbye, please click here.

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Dog Jog Checklist

Dog Jog Checklist

With less than a month to go until the first Dog Jog 5km, the team at Run4It want to help you improve your run on the day! To do so, we have put together a checklist, compiled of items which we believe are absolutely essential for you to enjoy your run:

1. Correctly fitted shoes
2. Running socks
3. Sports bra for ladies
4. Comfortable clothing

 

Shoes

It is easy to purchase a pair of ‘sports shoes’, they look smart and are available in your size – done! Or you just need to dig around to the bottom of your wardrobe until you find those trainers from years ago. However, we recommend that you think differently about your footwear for the Dog Jog. For it to be ‘fun’ you need to avoid injury, blisters or muscle aching, therefore it could be time for new shoes! At Run4It we recommend that you have your feet analysed by one of our team through our free runlab shoe fitting process. A simple 15 second jog in bare feet can tell us whether your feet need a stability shoe with extra guidance and support, or a structured neutral shoe with lots of cushioning. It is amazing how much of a difference correctly fitted shoes can make! If you are new to running, this is the one thing to get right.

Socks

If you have looked after your feet by getting the right shoe, then it is the perfect opportunity to accompany this with the right sock. The rule is simple: no cotton! Cotton retains moisture/sweat which can cause bacteria to build up and the foot to become irritated by the damp sock – most commonly resulting in blisters. To avoid this, look to running socks which contain synthetic fibres (such as nylon) to wick away moisture and allow the foot to breathe. Running socks can vary in comfort, based on the padding they have in them, as well as sock height and colour, so there are plenty to choose from!

Sports Bra

80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. 75% do not wear a technical sports bra when running. Sound familiar? It is said that no sports bra should ever reach a birthday, so for most women it is probably time for a sport bra fit! Not wearing the correct sports bra can affect your running gait and posture, it can cause up to 4cm of movement in the breast tissue and irreversible damage, and it can be really uncomfortable when you are trying to enjoy your run! This is why we place sports bras as an essential piece of kit. No matter you cup size, band size, or preference on bra style, you should always be able to find the perfect sports bra for you!

Clothing

If the feet are comfortable, you need the kit to match. With running tops it is the same as with socks, avoid cotton! A cotton top not only shows sweat and begins to smell much quicker, but it can also cause irritation and rubbing under the arms or on the chest. A technical t-shirt is much lighter and less restrictive around the arms – and it’s not an expensive piece of kit. As most of the Dog Jogs are in the summer it could be warm, so consider a vest or t-shirt and if you are worried about being cold on the start line make sure you have a layer on top that you can quickly pull off and put to the side, or pass to a friend, before you start running.

Accompany your top with a good pair of technical tights or shorts to be fully comfortable. Within shorts every runners’ need should be covered: you can get shorts with longer lycra liners to prevent chafing; shorts with a split leg so that you are completely unrestricted; or simple lycra shorts that sit close and don’t move up the leg.

If you can check off every item of our checklist then you are good to go! If this is your first run, enjoy the experience and if you have done events before then welcome back! ☺

Our retail partner Run4It have lots of shops throughout Scotland, find out more and buy online at www.run4it.com

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