Sophie completes her own Great North Run for ‘my boy’ Jarvis and the Dogs Trust

Fantastic fundraiser Sophie Farrugia completed her very own Great North Run in September in memory of her dog Jarvis, while raising an amazing £450 for Dogs Trust.

Sophie was all set to take part in the Great North Run 2020, but when it was cancelled due to COVID-19, she decided to go ahead with the challenge anyway. On 12 September, she set off from her home in Durham with her friend Hannah, and ran 22 miles to the Dogs Trust Darlington rehoming centre where the staff were waiting to cheer her in.

Sophie said:

“I don’t like long distance running and have only done short distance running before to keep up my cardio up for football. But I felt the Great North Run challenge would be a fitting tribute to my boy Jarvis who loved to run after his ball.”


After completing the gruelling - and sometimes eventful - run, crossing the finish line was an emotional experience for Sophie, who adopted her dog Jarvis from the centre in 2011. The nervous Jack Russell cross was just 10 months old when Sophie took him home. Jarvis soon settled into his new life with Sophie and lived a very happy life until he passed away in August 2019.

Sophie added:  

“When I arrived at the centre at the end of our run, there was such a rush of emotions. Even though I knew I could do this challenge, actually doing it just felt incredible. The furthest I’d run before that day was 10 miles, so to complete the journey and cross the finishing line felt surreal.

“I feel like I had no energy left and everything was aching, but as soon as the Dogs Trust was in view and getting closer I just felt this rush of adrenaline and suddenly the aches disappeared and I just wanted to get there.

“To make our arrival extra special, we were greeted by a staff member who actually knew Jarvis.”

Sophie smashed her original fundraising target of £300 and has applied for next year’s Great North Run to add to her £450 total from this year.

Sophie concluded:

“Jarvis was such an amazing, goofy, clumsy dog. Once I gained his trust he was very loyal and showed how much he loved me and he would do anything to protect me. I'd do anything to have him back for one more cuddle, one more play.

“I couldn't run 22 miles on my own or without meaning. I did it in memory of my boy and with the support of my best friend Hannah, so if I get into the Great North Run next year, I will be doing it all again for them.”

Sue Embleton, Dogs Trust Darlington manager, said:

“We are so grateful to Sophie for raising money for the Dogs Trust and it was really special that we could be at the finishing line to congratulate her personally. The money she has raised will help us care for more dogs like Jarvis who are still looking for their very own Sophie.”

Dogs Trust estimates that up to 40,000 more dogs could be at risk of abandonment in the fallout of the coronavirus crisis. If you would like to help change the course of events and help us continue to be there for more dogs and their owners when they need us, please give what you can by visiting