An RSPCA inspector is taking on an epic challenge next week, with three fundraising events in three days, to raise money to help the RSPCA help animals in need.
Sarah Bagley, who is the local inspector for Bradford, Brighouse and Mirfield in West Yorkshire, is swimming two miles across Lake Windermere, Cumbria as part of the Great North Swim on Friday 12 June.
She’ll cycle 140 miles coast-to-coast from Whitehaven, Cumbria to Tynemouth, Tyneside on Saturday 13 June.
Then, on Sunday 14 June, she’ll run 18 miles from where she finishes the cycle in Tynemouth to her parent’s home in Whickham, Gateshead, where she’s from.
It’s all in aid of the RSPCA national society and her local branches RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield and District; RSPCA Craven and Upper Wharfdale; RSPCA Lancashire East; RSPCA Bradford and District and RSPCA Rochdale and District.
Sarah said: “Myself and my wonderful colleagues see animals in need on a daily basis be it through neglect, mistreatment or outright cruelty.
“The only way to keep helping these animals is through kind donations.
“I wanted to do something difficult, that the average person couldn’t do without considerable training, and it’s certainly involved a lot of that so far!”
Sarah did the Great North Swim last year, and has done triathlons before but never anything on this scale. She said: “I did 120 miles on the bike last week, which took 12 hours, and ran 15 miles on Monday, which is the furthest I’ve ever run before. It went really well but of course doing the three events back-to-back, over three days, is going to be much harder, it’s definitely going to be an epic challenge.”
Two colleagues, RSPCA animal collection officer John Greaves and RSPCA animal welfare officer Gail Platt, are acting as her support team for the cycle and will be on hand with a cycle pump, puncture repair kit, food and refreshments. Though doing the run on her own, friends will be stationed at check-points and there will be a party at her parent’s home when it’s all over.
Sarah said: “The support I’ve had has been really amazing. Most of the people who have sponsored me know me, but some people who have rehomed animals rescued by the RSPCA have sponsored me too after hearing about what I’m doing.
“Everyone has been wishing me luck, offering to come and support me at the events and of course want to come to the party afterwards!”
Sarah has worked as an RSPCA inspector for just over two years, graduating from the RSPCA’s inspector training school in April 2013, since when she has been working in West Yorkshire. She’s adopted two RSPCA rescue rabbits in that time – ‘Mikey’, who was signed over to the RSPCA by his owner after being discovered wandering the streets and being fed on chapatis, and ‘Betty’ who was collected as a stray. “Working with animals has been my life’s dream,” she said.