Regional Event: Great North Run

Date: 10/09/2017

Cat costumed runners raise cash for the kitty

When cat lover Deborah Ashley invited 30 of her friends to join her on a charity fun run in aid of Cats Protection they decided it would be a simply purr-fect chance to don feline fancy dress.

The cat-attired runners certainly turned heads as they ran 11 kilometres along the banks of the River Tyne, starting and finishing at Hedley’s Riverside Coffee Shop.

Deborah, who lives in Seaton Delaval, organised the event as a prequel to the Great North Run which she is taking part in to raise funds for Cats Protection’s East Northumberland Branch. It raised £260, taking her running total to £1,034.

“The ladies who joined me are all members of a north east based women’s only running group These Girls Can Run,” said Deborah.

“This collection of quite crazy, very generous women just love to run, especially if it’s fancy dress and there is the slightest possibility of food at the end. There were lots of cat leggings and ears and tails, a rather scary gothic looking cat and even a Cat in the Hat.

“After a silly warm up routine, executed to cat themed music, we set off. Sadly, and somewhat ironically, I didn’t get past the first mile marker, suffering a pulled calf muscle. Thankfully, I’ll be fine by Great North Run in September.

“Most of the girls are running in Great North Run for their chosen charities, so this was a good training run too.

“Hedley’s had arranged for us to have full English breakfasts with lots of fabulous home baked cakes to satisfy the “rungers”. In the café we held a raffle for lots of fantastic prizes donated by the girls, my work colleagues, friends and family.”

“I chose to raise money for Cats Protection because when our much loved ancient cat Caffreypassed away we turned the East Northumberland branch which needed homes for some kittens they had rescued.

“Polka and Batfink were semi-feral. They needed experienced cat people to help them to settle and have now become much loved pets.”

Donations can be made at

Anyone who would like to adopt a cat from the East Northumberland branch should contact 07749 713142.

Feline fundraisers: the fun runners in their cat fancy dress

Photo by Darren Glanville