Guest blog: Rachel Spencer’s Great North Run support

Rachel is part of a incredible team of supporters who are going to #RunForWag this September in the 2022 Great North Run. Here she shares her inspiration to join #TeamWag. Thanks so much for sharing your story Rachel, and for your fantastic fundraising too!

I’m Rachel, I’m 46 and a freelance journalist and pet business coach. I’m a dog lover and I live in Gosforth with my partner Tommy and our Patch. I’ve been a keen runner since 2008 when I adopted my first dog Daisy and she was not great with recall. I’d take her running so she could exercise and let off steam while still on a lead.

I was inspired to take part in the Great North Run for Wag and Co after I came across Diane’s work on social media, and interviewed her for a newspaper article. I was so inspired by her stories that she moved me to tears on the phone, and around the same time my partner’s dad was very poorly with Parkinson’s and sadly passed away in September 2021. Patch would visit him and lie quietly on his bed and I know it was a great source of comfort for him having a dog there.  And I was also amazed at how quiet and well behaved Patch was, it was like he could sense that Baxter needed comfort and some quiet time so I know from experience the comfort a canine friend can bring.

When Diane spotted a photo of me running with Patch on LinkedIn and asked if I wanted a Great North Run place, I couldn’t say no and I’m honoured to be running for the charity. My training was going really well up until I got COVID in July, so that has been a little bit of a setback. But I’m back running again now and I don’t think I’ll be getting a brilliant time but I will be there and I will get to the finish line no matter what! I’m really excited about taking part and I think it will be an emotional day.

My tips for running are to give yourself three months to prepare for your training. I started with increasing my mileage by a mile a week starting at three miles and then the aim was to build it up to 13 before September. I’ve also been doing strength work and stretching, with a weekly online Pilates class and this helps with strength and mobility so you don’t get too stiff, which is easy to do if you’re only running. My other tip is to try not to get COVID during your training and be consistent.

I can’t wait to do the Great North Run this September and thank you so much to Wag and Co and Diane for giving me a place.

Rachel has already raised over £500 for Wag & Company to #EndLoneliness on her JustGiving page, funding one of our Visiting Wag Teams for over a year! ♥️

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