A DEDICATED staff member at Dogs Trust Kenilworth has literally gone the extra mile – or 621 – to help the dogs in his care.
Despite needing nine operations on his knees and feet in recent years, James Sowerby has undertaken the ‘99km for Canines Cycle Challenge’ to raise funds to help the dogs he knows and loves.
But despite the physical challenges it posed for him, the 32-year-old decided to take it several pushes of the pedals further – and set himself a 999km virtual route.
James said: “It was a bit bonkers really, given the issues I’ve had, but I just wanted to do something extra for the dogs.
“Cycling has really helped me recover after my operations, which have included cruciate ligament replacements and a broken foot, so it was great to use that experience in a positive way to help our dogs.”
James, whose job at the Honiley rehoming centre includes finding foster carers for dogs, mapped out the route syncing his computer to his exercise bike and taking in five Dogs Trust rehoming centres.
Starting at Dogs Trust Kenilworth he virtually cycled to Evesham, Newbury, Shoreham, Salisbury and Ilfracombe rehoming centres and back to Kenilworth.
His journey took 36 hours and included 9,137 metres of climbs – more than the height of Mount Everest, and although he sometimes found it tough going, he says the thought of the dogs he was helping spurred him on.
He added: “It was difficult and painful at times but having set up the route to the centres, every time I was flagging, I just thought of how what I was doing will help make sure they have an extra special Christmas with us until they find a home of their own.”
James burnt off some 18,700 calories during the challenge and decided to complete the final 99 kilometres with no breaks, pedalling for just under four hours – that part of the route alone saw him climb the equivalent of Scotland’s highest mountain Ben Nevis.
He added: “Having burnt off so many calories I’ll definitely be treating myself to a few more roast potatoes! So far I have raised £1,141, which will buy a lot of toys and treats for the dogs.
“I am proud to think that I have done my bit to make sure our dogs can have everything they need on Christmas day and beyond until they find the forever homes they all deserve.”
Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk for information on adopting a rescued dog.