It became a beautiful tradition that every big running challenge for me is related to Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary. So, if you already know this project from the past years - Hello again, it's great to see you one more time! But if you are here for the very first time, welcome to "Free the Feet! #3" project. Enjoy your visit and who knows...maybe you will love Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary as much as I do!
Who are they?
Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary has been prospering for 22 years in Dallington, United Kingdom as a non profit organisation thanks to the good will of sponsors. It's a "home for life to farm animals and birds, rescued from the misery of the meat and dairy industry and the horrors of the slaughterhouse."
I've met Wenda & Matt (the owners of the farm) few years ago in London at the VegFest. From the very first moment of our conversation I knew that level of their commitment, kindness and dedication to animals is just unbelievable.
I've visited their farm few times in last 3 years to rest from busy life in a city, eat great natural food and reconnect with nature, animals and with myself. Every time I am there, I am so impressed by their hard work and dedication given to the animals. Their farm is a place where all different species live together in peace and harmony. When you're there, you just soak that lovely tranquillity like a sponge. I've never found a place like this before and for me it's a great confirmation that their work pays off. And yes, they did create a small peace of heaven on this planet.
If you haven't had a chance to meet them yet, here is a link to get more information:
So...what is the challenge?
Maybe some of you still remember first "Free the feet! #1" campaign in 2015. I ran my first ultramarathon, 31 miles in Chiltern Hills. We closed the campaign with a great amount of £215 given to the farm to build new gates.
For the next "Free the feet! #2" campaign in 2016 I ran another race of 50 miles in the beautiful North Down Way. Fantastic amount of £470 was given to buy a special cattle hurdles to protect the cows when they need to be treated or for bTB testing.
This year I decided to "slightly" extend last year's route and run 100 miles North Downs Way Centurion race on 5th August 2017. The NDW100 is a 100 mile continuous trail run along the North Downs Way. The course travels from Farnham in the Surrey Hills to Ashford in Kent with total climb of 9.930 feet. I have 30 hours cut off time to finish the race.
It sounds like a crazy and thrilling idea but it's really nothing compared to what's being done at the Hugletts Wood Farm.
Imagine waking up at 4.30am and spending 18 -19 hours working every day. Wenda and Matt have been taking care of 300 farm animals and injured wildlife like cows, calves, sheep, lambs, cats, dogs, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and many more for the last 22 years. That's a real dedication!
Where will your money go?
This time Wenda & Matt need our help more than ever. Such a big farm badly needs a tele-handler to dig out the barns in time for winter and save precious hours moving the 2000+ large round bales of hay and straw into place for the residents.
It's a 6 months project and a lot of people are involved in it to help them collect £18 500 to buy a second hand machine. By 4th June they had managed to raise £8 676.49 but still need £9 823.51 to reach the goal by September.
Big machine needs a big challenge and even bigger support! You don't need to be a vegetarian/vegan or a runner to make a donation. I will be delighted if you want to support me in my challenge and help my friends in taking care of more animals.
As a special and personal acknowledgement of your goodwill, I will send you a hand made gift to anywhere you live! I want you to have a small reminder of this project showing that kindness ALWAYS pays off and like my good friend says "Where there's a will, there's a way."
Sometimes the way has to have 100 miles.