RSPCA’s Team Animal needs you: Search for Great North Run participants is on

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The RSPCA is on the hunt for runners taking on this year’s Great North Run to join Team Animal.

Thousands of runners will be pounding the streets of Newcastle on September 10 as 2017’s Great North Run gets under way. And you could be there among them soaking up the atmosphere, tackling the 13.1-mile route and doing your bit to help the nation’s animals.

James Lakey, 21, from Gateshead, has taken on the half marathon for the last three years for Team Animal.

“I started when I was 18 and ever since I’ve run each year for the RSPCA,” the apprentice kitchen maintenance service engineer said.

“I’ve really enjoyed it and got a new personal best each year.

“I chose to support the RSPCA because I’m a massive animal-lover and to think I’m helping helpless animals just by running is the best motivation to keep me going!”

Now, the RSPCA is asking other runners, like James, to join Team Animal.

“The Great North Run is a wonderful event full of inspirational stories of personal challenge, overcoming the odds and supporting well-deserving causes,” says Katie Sutcliffe, RSPCA events manager.

“This year, we’re looking for more budding runners, kind-hearted locals, and animal-lovers to join our herd and we hope to have more than 70 people making up Team Animal. Every single penny raised by our supporters taking on the Great North Run will help us continue our vital work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals.

“And YOU could be out there on the course with them, running side-by-side with other passionate people who care about animals as much as you do.”1108179.jpg

The RSPCA - the largest and oldest animal welfare charity covering England and Wales - is funded by public donations and it costs more than £120m a year to run.

“Our 17 animal centres and five veterinary hospitals alone cost £110,000 a day to keep open so we are able to help some of the most vulnerable and frightened animals,” Katie added. “We also fund a team of 470 frontline officers who are out on the road 24 hours a day, 365 days a year rescuing animals from the most unimaginable cruelty and suffering.”

The charity receives 1.15m calls every year - that’s one call every 27 seconds - and investigates more than 400 allegations of animal cruelty every day.

“Our incredible supporters and fundraisers who are part of Team Animal mean we can continue to be there for animals so we really appreciate the efforts of everyone who raises money for the RSPCA,” Katie added.

The RSPCA has a number of guaranteed places in the Great North Run and is keen to hear from any runners who think they are up for the challenge. All Team Animal runners can enjoy:

RSPCA branded training t-shirt and running vest (made of ultracool material);

Iron on vest letters, so our cheerers can shout your name;

Fundraising pack, which contains hints and tips to maximise your sponsorship;

Dedicated cheering group along the course, which your friends and family can join;

Lots of cheering goodies on race day for family and friends to help cheer you on;

Post-race reception;

Post-race massage;

Committed events team who are on hand for support and advice;

Free running training guide.

If you’d like more information about how to join Team Animal as a runner or as part of our cheering squad, please visit the website: https://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/fundraise/running/gnr.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate