Marathon triumph for Kate Lawler and RSPCA's Team Animal
A team of 17 raised more than £33k to help the RSPCA rescue and rehome animals.
Downpours, train delays and even a lost pair of trainers didn't dampen the spirits of RSPCA's Team Animal who smashed yesterday's gruelling TCS London Marathon, raising tens of thousands for the charity.
The team, led by animal champion and RSPCA Ambassador Kate Lawler, joined more than 40,000 fellow runners to successfully complete the 26.2 mile challenge across London, with Kate and running pal Allegra Haines raising £9,000 on marathon day alone.
Also running for the charity was Exmouth 'postie' Gill Hodge, and police officer Anna Plant, who ran in memory of her animal-loving Mum.
We had an amazing day running the London Marathon - it was by far my favourite marathon and was a bittersweet experience as I knew it would be my last one. The crowd, the music and all the amazing support we received from the spectators, my friends and family and all the people who donated on social media throughout the day was such a huge boost - I am so grateful to them all.
The pain, the aching muscles and the tiredness was all made worthwhile as I know what an incredible cause we were running for and what a difference the money would make to the RSPCA and, in turn, the lives of so many animals. The RSPCA's work never stops, and we hoped to raise £10,000 between us to support them, so to have topped £20,000 is incredible.
Kate and Allegra, who have been running pals for many years, last tackled the London Marathon together back in 2009, and their plan for tackling the 26.2 mile challenge this year was simple: 'Have fun, laugh and forget the pain!'
After the event, Abigail Mustard, the RSPCA's events officer said:
We're so incredibly proud of every single one of our runners, and hugely grateful to them and their supporters for the incredible amount of money they've raised for the RSPCA. From the utterly 'pawsome' Kate Lawler to the rest of the amazing team, we're lucky to have had the most dedicated team who were so positive and focused through the whole marathon.
The RSPCA simply couldn't exist without our incredible fundraisers who are so committed to helping us stop cruelty and make the world a kinder place for animals. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, you'll be making an incredible difference to the lives of animals desperately in need of help.
Although the runners successfully crossed the finish line, the day wasn't without its glitches - with Kate's running partner Alegra misplacing her trainers!
Some were concerned that train delays would affect their start times and several downpours of rain in the morning posed slippery conditions, but by far the biggest challenge was when Allegra misplaced her running shoes!
Thanks to the power of social media, a lovely lady named Sue read Kate's desperate plea for help and rushed to the start line with her husband's trainers and a pair of thick socks for Allegra, who went on to complete the marathon in under five and a half hours.
The RSPCA receives around 90,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and investigates 6,000 reports of deliberate animal cruelty. The charity has also seen a 24% rise in reports of abandoned animals during the last year - emphasising the importance of fundraising income from the London Marathon.
The cost of living crisis is also impacting many pet owners, with the RSPCA fearing this could lead to even more animal abandonments and welfare issues for its frontline officers to deal with.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please donate online or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.