Robbie Dawson is set to run an ultra-marathon to support a charity close to the heart of former Stroud publican Luciano Magalotti.
Robbie and his dog Max will run a challenging 32 miles across the south Wiltshire countryside on Saturday and Luciano, who passed away earlier this year, will be at the forefront of Robbie’s mind as he steps out on an epic journey.
Robbie and Max have chosen to raise funds for the German Shepherd Rescue Elite charity, a cause wholeheartedly endorsed by dog-loving Luciano and his wife Sarah.
Robbie first met Luciano and Sarah through a shared love of dogs, he explained: “In 2013, I went to visit a German Shepherd puppy with the intention of just viewing her – this is always fatal and I came away owning a scruffy little German Shepherd who I named Lottie.
“Later that year I started joining the GSRE rescue walks from the Old Lodge every Sunday. It is here that I met both Sarah and Luciano, who was such a positive happy person that I instantly felt comfortable with the group.
“Our walks regularly ended with a few pints in the Old Lodge garden which is where I was able to witness Luciano and Sarah’s love for each other and the dogs they so dearly loved.”
It was then that Robbie decided to start running in an effort to improve his fitness. He said: “I started running with my German Shorthaired Pointer Max in a sport called Canicross, which we have really enjoyed and taken to. However, in January I couldn’t run three miles consistently so it was a long process of joining the social runs with the Forest of Dean Canicross club to get Max and me, fitter, this didn’t go smoothly with a few visits to A&E for sprained ankles. On top of that, there have been hamstring injuries, knee and ankle injuries.”
Bitten by the running bug, Robbie and Max upped the tempo and Luciano will act as an inspiration as the duo take up the energy-sapping quest.
“In April, I was persuaded by a couple of friends that it would be a good idea to run a 32-mile Ultra-Marathon with Max. So off we went increasing the mileage until running 7 to 10 miles was just a typical Saturday morning.
“In August, Max and I completed our first ever half marathon by running around the Adidas trail in the forest of Dean twice on a Thursday evening. Three weeks later I took part in the Badminton Trail Marathon which ended up being 28.4 miles of discomfort!
“When I heard the terrible news that Luciano had passed my first wish was to do some good with the effort that had gone into the training for this run and the discomfort I will suffer through.
“Luciano was a great man that supported so many fantastic charities, as much as I wanted to support both of his chosen charities, Cotswold Canal Trust and the German Shepherd Rescue Elite, the GSRE is very close to my heart.”
To help supports the charity Robbie and do Max are running for, please click HERE