Any dog owner will tell you that at this time of the year, daily walkies are usually muddy. But what if you could do your walkies, with others like you, where getting muddy was positively encouraged, and there was a fun obstacle course for you and your canine chum to tackle...and your mud splattered shenanigans would support a great Dorset charity?

Let me introduce you to the Muddy Dog Dash. Open to dog owners and non-dog owners, this is your chance to get involved in what promises to be a brilliant fun event in Poole. Not only that, but you will also raise money for Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, a local charity which helps people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across East Dorset. Kindly sponsored by Barratt Homes, who have also helped with providing some of the obstacles on the course, the Muddy Dog Dash takes place on Sunday 17th March at Upton Country Park in Poole, the town where the charity is based. Competitors, with or without a dog, can choose between a 2.5km and 5km muddy obstacle course, which they can take at their own speed. Spectators are welcome to come and cheer everyone along, before retiring to the pop-up village for refreshments.

Great British Life: The ball pit, one of the obstacles on the Muddy Dog Dash. The ball pit, one of the obstacles on the Muddy Dog Dash. (Image:

‘You can run, jog or walk the course,’ says Tom Goodinge, director of fundraising at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care. ‘Whatever your ability I can promise it will be a fantastically muddy experience. And along the way dogs and their humans will encounter lots of fun obstacles including ramps, tyre runs, wiggle poles, ball pools, scramble nets and more.’ Every competitor receives a goodie bag, sponsored by Nurturing Nature, which includes rosettes, treats and certificates. So, wags all round.

The first Muddy Dog Dash, held in 2023, attracted hundreds of dogs and their humans and was a massive hit. ‘We were keen to develop an event in Dorset that could be fun for the whole the community, involve families, people of all ages, and of course their lovely pets!’ says Hospice CEO Clare Gallie. ‘We were inspired by two fundraising events that we came across, held in other parts of the country - a mud run and an obstacle event for dogs.’

Clare reveals that she had previously taken part in a mud run with her twin daughters Izzy and Charlotte. ‘No dogs were allowed though, so we had to leave our dog Wilson at home which we hated doing and he wasn’t too pleased about either. This got us thinking. Why not combine a mud run with a doggy obstacle course? And so, we came up with the Muddy Dog Dash.’

Great British Life: Come on human, keep up! One of the competitors wearing their Muddy Dog Dash bandana.Come on human, keep up! One of the competitors wearing their Muddy Dog Dash bandana. (Image:

Last year’s inaugural event didn’t disappoint, there was a huge turn-out for it with excited dogs and their humans enthusiastically tackling the course. ‘It was a brilliant day and so much fun!’ recalls Clare. ‘As well as the crowds who came to support those taking part, some of our local Dorset hospice patients and their families came along to watch, something that hadn’t happened at previous fundraising events. It really made the day complete.’

The huge level of social media coverage that the event attracted surprised the organisers too. ‘Everyone was talking about it, sharing and posting photos of them and their muddy dogs on all the social media platforms.’ The Lewis-Manning Muddy Dog Dash also raised awareness around the importance of dogs and animals in our lives. ‘We often have animals in to visit at our hospice as they bring so much comfort and happiness to our patients, so it really was the perfect event for us. And we raised a fantastic amount money for our charity, allowing us to continue to provide extraordinary care for people with life limiting illnesses, across East Dorset, Purbeck and into West Hampshire.’

If this sounds like the sort of fun fundraising event you would like to support, then sign up today at

Great British Life: Dogs and their humans celebrate completing the first every Muddy Dog Dash last year. Dogs and their humans celebrate completing the first every Muddy Dog Dash last year. (Image:

On your barks, get set, go!

What: The Muddy Dog Dash

Where: Upton Country Park, Poole Road, BH17 7BJ

When: March 17, 11am –3pm

How far: Choose between 2.5km and 5km

Terrain: Muddy with some obstacles, go at your own speed

Requirements: Take part on your own or with family and friends, with or without a dog!

What will I get: The first 100 humans to sign up will receive a FREE Muddy Dog Dash t-shirt. All dogs taking part receive a bandana, rosette, certificate and doggy treats.


Great British Life: Lawrence and Jo Shaw with their dogs Rocket and Ringo at last year's event. Lawrence and Jo Shaw with their dogs Rocket and Ringo at last year's event. (Image:

Lawrence & Jo Shaw

‘Last year’s Muddy Dog Dash was such a brilliant day out. We have taken part in lots of fundraising events across the country with our dogs Rocket and Ringo, but the addition of live radio interviews, a Zumba warm up and the varied obstacles made this event unique and more challenging. Our favourite obstacle was the scramble net and ball pits, such a great idea. Upton Country Park was a fantastic venue with plenty of mud for the dogs and us to scramble through. Rocket and Ringo loved the goodie bags with tasty snacks, rosettes and stylish bandanas. To top the day off we had the luxury of a dog wash, so our car wasn’t covered in mud. We will be back for more muddy madness in March.’

Great British Life: Tim Goodson and his friend took part in the Muddy Dog Dash dressed in doggy fancy dress!Tim Goodson and his friend took part in the Muddy Dog Dash dressed in doggy fancy dress! (Image:

Tim Goodson

‘As a keen runner and a trustee of Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, the Muddy Dog Dash was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss …mud, water, obstacles and the opportunity to raise funds for a local charity hospice. I signed up immediately even though I don’t have a dog, it didn’t prevent me from joining in the muddy fun. As we didn’t have a canine chum to join in our muddy capers, a good friend and I decided to do the course in dog fancy dress!’

Great British Life: Six-year-old Finley with his dog Hugo. Six-year-old Finley with his dog Hugo. (Image:

Finley and Hugo 

Six-year-old Finley is fundraising for Lewis-Manning Hospice Care with his dog Hugo. ‘We are taking part in the Muddy Dog Dash, running a 2.5km very muddy obstacle course. Money raised will go towards providing sessions with a therapy dog helping people who are very poorly just like in the Hospital Dog book. This is important to me because people might be close to dying and need a special buddy like Hugo to help them when they feel sad, scared and poorly. This is when Hugo helps me. Please donate and support our run.’


About Lewis-Manning Hospice Care

Established in 1992, our charity provides extraordinary care to patients and their loved ones facing a life-limiting illness across East Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Purbeck and West Hampshire. We offer a range of free hospice care services aimed at helping people to live well through their illness, closer to home and at home. These include:

– Hospice at Home

– Day hospices, virtual and in person

– Creative arts & wellbeing support

– Lymphoedema clinics

– Breathlessness clinics

– Bereavement & family support

– Complementary therapy

– Education

Our work increases people’s physical and social well-being, reduces isolation and loneliness, supports people to stay in their homes longer, and alleviates the huge pressures on family and carers. Every year we support around 800 local people, and we develop new services, based on patient need. We need your help to raise £3.4m for this year to continue providing our important services in your community. Without these funds we could not exist.