Fundraising dog lover set to do marathon – in her garden

A Levens dog lover is hoping to raise thousands for the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, by running a marathon – in her garden.

Annie Rawlinson will undertake the running challenge this Sunday, when she was due to take part in the London Marathon which has now been postponed until October.

Annie says:

“Dogs Trust has had to cancel so many events because of Coronavirus and those events would normally raise thousands of pounds for them, so I decided that the marathon being postponed wasn’t an excuse not to do something!

“I came up with this bonkers idea and it’s really making people smile when I tell them about it, which is lovely given what everyone is currently going through.”

Annie has chosen to raise money for Dogs Trust, which finds homes for around 15,000 homeless hounds every year, in memory of her cousin’s husband, Brian Coulthwaite, who died suddenly in March last year. Brian, a Dogs Trust supporter, was the landlord of the Watermill Inn & Windermere Brewery in Ings, near Windermere and his love of dogs was well known, with four-legged friend visitors to the pub always getting served with water and tasty treats before their owners had their refreshment requests satisfied. 

An air-horn at 9.30am – the time the London Marathon was due to get underway - will herald the start of 56-year-old Annie’s mammoth challenge which will see her run 210 laps of her garden, to equal the 26.219 miles of the marathon, in her ‘Brewski’ ‘mongrel mascot’ costume. It will be a very different experience from other marathons she has run, with one even taking her to the North Pole and another to Dubai.

She says:

“Brewski is a cross between a Collie and a Husky and it gets very hot in there so although it’s great to have lovely weather, I’m hoping it isn’t too hot on Sunday!

“It is quite hard to know what it’s going to feel like as running a marathon in your garden isn’t something you ever imagine doing. It’s certainly going to be a unique experience but Brian’s memory and knowing that every penny raised will go to making sure that Dogs Trust can continue to care for all of the dogs that come through its doors, will keep me going.”

Tristan Lathey, Dogs Trust Community Fundraising Officer, said:

“We are so grateful to Annie. For the foreseeable future we can’t hold the usual fundraising events that we organise such as our summer fairs and of course significant events like the London Marathon, which raised over £40,000 for Dogs Trust last year, have been postponed, so it’s wonderful that Annie has chosen to do this.

“There is no doubt she has set herself a very difficult task, running a marathon on her own, without the cheers of the crowd to spur her on. It’s an incredible thing to do and every penny raised will go towards making sure our beautiful dogs have everything they need until the time is right for them to find their forever homes. We will be thinking of her on Sunday and wishing her luck!”

If you would like to support Annie, go to her JustGiving page.

Annie’s Marathon coincides with the nationwide 2.6 Challenge which will also be taking place on Sunday. If you would like to do your own challenge for Dogs Trust take a look at our 26 Challenge Ideas.