Battersea’s Muddy Dog Challenge is back, bigger and better than ever before! In its fifth year, the obstacle course is the UK’s first 2.5km and 5km that you can tackle alongside your dog.

No matter your fitness level, everyone is welcome to take part with their four-legged companion, or you can take it on solo – it’s all about having fun.

Participants can expect to hurriedly hop over ‘Dog Tyred’, and swiftly splash through ‘Dog Baths’ before crossing the finish line, all in aid of the dogs and cats at Battersea.

Animal lovers taking part are asked to raise a minimum sponsorship of £100 to help Battersea care for the thousands of animals who arrive at the animal shelter every year.

EXETER: Saturday 13 April – Powderham Castle, South Town, Exeter, EX6 8JG

WINDSOR: Saturday 11 May and Sunday 12 May – Windsor Great Park, Windsor, SL4 2BD

CHELTENHAM: Saturday 1 June – Stowell Park, Chedworth, Cheltenham, GL54 3LL

NOTTINGHAM: Saturday 29 June – Wollaton Park, Nottingham, NG8 2AE

MANCHESTER: Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September – Ashley Hall, Ashley Mill Lane, Altrincham, WA14 3PY

TUNBRIDGE WELLS: Saturday 21 September – Eridge Park, Sham Farm Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9JD

NEWCASTLE: Saturday 5 October – Newcastle Racecourse, High Gosforth Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 5EJ

LEEDS: Saturday 19 October – Harewood House, Harrogate Road, Leeds, LS17 9LQ

Internationally-renowned supermodel and Battersea Ambassador David Gandy took part in the Tunbridge Wells Muddy Dog Challenge with his Battersea dog Dora last year. It was the third time he had taken part. David Gandy said: “I loved running the Muddy Dog Challenge with Dora last year. It’s such a great day and Dora and all the other dogs loved getting involved and taking on the obstacles. The Muddy Dog Challenge is also a wonderful way to support Battersea. I’d encourage any animal lover to take part – whether or not you own a dog. My one piece of advice is to take it at your own pace. It’s not a race and it’s all about having fun!

Here are some easy steps to help prepare for the big day:

  1. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear. You’ll be surprised what a good pair of trainers can make to your walk, jog or run. Check your trainers are secure too – you don’t want to lose them in the mud!
  2. Do a few practice runs with your dog first so you both get used to running with a lead. We would advise fitting your dog with a harness.
  3. Mix it up a bit! Try out new dog walking routes in different locations and different terrains. Not only will this stop you from getting bored, your dog will also love exploring somewhere new.
  4. Keep hydrated during your walks – for both human and dog. Make sure you both drink plenty during training runs. There will be lots of water stops throughout the course at Muddy Dog.
  5. Don’t overdo it. Start off easy and at a level that’s appropriate for you and your dog. Remember, the Muddy Dog Challenge is all about having fun.

For more information, click here.