A dog lover from Levens, near Kendal, is taking on the challenge of a lifetime to raise thousands of pounds for a charity close to her heart. 

Annie Rawlinson is taking on a 1,000-mile run in a bid to raise more than £10,000 for Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity.   

To celebrate her milestone 60th birthday, Annie has chosen to embark on the Rat Race Adventures Run Britannia, which starts at Land’s end and finishes at John O’Groats.

The race is completed over five weeks, across hill, mountain, moor and valley, it is mainly off-road and takes in an overall climb of 70,000 plus feet.

With just days to go, before starting her epic adventure on 1 June, Annie is hoping the many months of training will pay off.

In the past, she has tackled a number of challenges to raise money for charity, including running the London Marathon in 2006.


Annie said:  “About three years ago, I was looking for a suitable challenge I could train for to mark my 60th year and read about this. Now, here we are! Its’s going to be an incredible adventure, but I can’t really imagine what it’s going to take to complete it as I’ve never done anything like it before. 

“The route is along some of the most beautiful trails in the UK, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time or energy to appreciate them! 

“As a diversion during training I’ve been counting the number of dogs I meet or spot and so far that’s an incredible 1,909! I’ll be keeping up my canine count during the run too which will definitely spur me on!”

Dogs Trust cares for around 14,000 dogs every year and they make sure they have everything they need, whether that’s veterinary treatment, additional training or just lots of toys and one-on-one time with their carers. 


  Annie shared the reason why she is so motivated to carry on running. Her close friend, Brian Coulthwaite was a great supporter of her fundraising efforts, so when he sadly died due to heart problems five years ago, she decided to carry on completing marathons in his memory.

The pair would have celebrated their 60th birthdays together this year, Annie said: “Mine was March 1 and his would have been on September 17. So, it’s actually a  double celebration, all my efforts are in his memory, he was much loved and is sorely missed.

“Brian loved dogs, as I do myself. If a dog stayed at the pub he started with his late Father, the Watermill Inn, he would charge the owners £5 to cover the extra cleaning costs, but he always gave £1 of that to Dogs Trust. So, I decided to run for Dogs Trust in him memory.

“It’s recommended that when you’re embarking on a huge challenge, you need to know and keep remembering “why” you are doing it. My “why” is for Bri!”

Tristan Lathey, Community Fundraising Officer at Dogs Trust, said:  “Supporters like Annie mean the world to us and our dogs. We couldn’t do what we do without their incredible fundraising, and what Annie is hoping to achieve is exceptional.    

“She will need to average 33 miles every day, with some days at over 40 miles, needing an extra push to complete the distance. We of course will be keeping track of how she’s doing and hope that everyone gets behind her so she can reach her target, which would be incredible for our dogs and definitely what Annie deserves given what she is undertaking.”   

If you would like to help Annie support dogs in need, please go to https://justgiving.com/page/annie-runbrit

Annie said: “This adventure is HUGE, I’m soooo excited, but at times also quite overwhelmed and scared! But I’m doing it for Bri, for the doggos, for Levens and as a Happy Birthday to me! I have my reasons, they are clear and important. I’m also looking forward to the wonderful scenery and meeting many mutts! I feel privileged and extremely lucky to be travelling along some of the most amazing trails.”

“It is going to take everything I have physically and mentally to complete it, but it will be worth it as I know I’m helping rescue dogs.”