Friends who worked nights during pandemic while training to run 26.2 miles aim to raise £1,000 for animal care charity

PUBLISHED: 13:05 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 September 2020

Jane Dunsmore, of Soham, and Tony Read, of Manea, who have been working nights at Tesco Ely throughout the pandemic while training to run 26.2 miles for the 2020 London virtual marathon, are hoping to raise £1,000 for animal care charity Furry Friends. Picture: JANE DUNSMORE

Jane Dunsmore, of Soham, and Tony Read, of Manea, who have been working nights at Tesco Ely throughout the pandemic while training to run 26.2 miles for the 2020 London virtual marathon, are hoping to raise £1,000 for animal care charity Furry Friends. Picture: JANE DUNSMORE

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Two Cambridgeshire friends who have been working nights at Tesco Ely throughout the pandemic while training to run 26.2 miles are hoping to raise £1,000 for an animal care charity.

Jane Dunsmore, of Soham, and Tony Read, of Manea, who have been working nights at Tesco Ely throughout the pandemic while training to run 26.2 miles for the 2020 London virtual marathon, are hoping to raise £1,000 for animal care charity Furry Friends. Picture: JANE DUNSMOREJane Dunsmore, of Soham, and Tony Read, of Manea, who have been working nights at Tesco Ely throughout the pandemic while training to run 26.2 miles for the 2020 London virtual marathon, are hoping to raise £1,000 for animal care charity Furry Friends. Picture: JANE DUNSMORE

Jane Dunsmore, of Soham, and Tony Read, of Manea, will run the length of the London virtual marathon (around Soham and Ely) on October 4 in aid of Furry Friends.

With the aim of holding a sterilisation day in Mauritius to help thousands of stray cats and dogs, Jane said she and Tony have been training for the race since December 31, 2019.

“It has been a long nine months so far,” she said, having first started their marathon journey with the Ely runners New Year’s Eve 10 km road race.

“That was the start of our 17-week training plan,” she added. “We were doing really well and had run 18 miles and were due to run 20 miles when lockdown was announced on the Monday night.

“This was where our marathon training stopped, but we have carried on working and running right through.

“So when customers were ripping everything off the shelves, we were the night workers trying to keep the shelves full - yet we still carried on running.”

Even when the London Marathon was postponed in April and rescheduled for October, the pair still ran - all while helping the charity with food, vet bills, vaccinations and finding cat and dog fosterers in Mauritius.

To make things worse, their group working holiday to Mauritius “to see how our money is put to use to help the strays” had to be postponed because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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“Mauritius is a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, perfect for holidays, weddings and people on honeymoon, but if you are a stray cat or dog (and there are roughly 200,000 on this island) your life is awful,” Jane added.

“Animal welfare is not practised on the island and some of the sights you see if you leave your hotel will haunt you forever.

“It is awful to see the way that they are treated and with this pandemic, they have been left to starve, yet a handful of Mauritians have gone out everyday to make sure the strays in their areas do have food.

“I went to Mauritius in October 2017 and was horrified by the things I witnessed and since then I have actively raised money to help the strays, the only way to really make a difference is to promote sterilisation.”

While Jane says she and Tony were “both marathon ready in March but now we are tired and worn out”, the friends remain as determined to run 26.2 miles all at once.

“If we can make a small difference by running 26.2 miles on Sunday October 4, then this is what we will do,” she said.

“We will be running the race in one go so look out for us running through Soham and Ely, but we need people to support us to help us get round.

“This is a huge undertaking and without the crowds in London it’s going to be hard.

“Please please help us to achieve our dream and help the strays in Mauritius at the same time.

To donate click here.


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