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Monday, April 11, 2011


VET Jason Atherton and his wife Jill, who live in Ponteland, are about to pull on their trainers again and clock up over 4,500 miles raising funds for local animal charities, as they train for the Edinburgh Marathon on 22 May.
 This is the third year Jason, 35, and Jill, 38, have taken part in the event, adding to their charity total of marathons, half-marathons, 20 and 10-mile events.  The pair regularly put in at least 50 miles a week each in training, accompanied by two of their four dogs, and have raised thousands of pounds for animal causes. 
This year's beneficiaries will be Gateshead charity Brysons Animal Refuge, and private rescue organisation Adopt A Dog.
Jason, a director of Westway Veterinary Group which has branches all over the North East, said:   "This is our third Edinburgh  Marathon and we are hoping to beat last year's sponsorship total of £1,700, which all went to help animals in need.
"We feel passionately about the work of our chosen charities and their efforts to take in and rehome unwanted animals with loving new families.  The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to improve the lives of animals and if we can help them by pounding the pavements then all the blisters and the sore muscles will be worth it.
"Our two greyhounds are playing a big role in our fitness levels as they come on all our training runs. They absolutely love it and as soon as they see our running kits they start to dance about.  They are great company and can manage 16 miles no sweat - unlike myself and Jill, who are usually shattered.
"Times are hard for everyone at the moment and animals are bearing the brunt of that, with many of them ending up homeless.  They can't help themselves so we're hoping the region's kind-hearted animal lovers will be as generous as ever and we can raise a significant sum to help two of our local charities continue the great work that they do."
Donations can be made in person or over the phone at any of the Westway surgeries across the North East.