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Dog walkers collar a new record.

Byline: By Julia Kennard

Thousands of tails wagged tirelessly yesterday during the 16th Great North Dog Walk.

The event, in Marsden, South Tyneside, attracted more than 7,000 hounds - breaking the Guinness world record for the 11th time running.

Most took a leisurely approach to the three-and-a-half mile course, but some runners and their four-legged friends sprinted their way into the record books.

Among them was newly-wed Vicki Thompson who returned on Saturday from her honeymoon with husband Andy, 45, in Budapest to take part in the event with border collie Murphy.

Vicki, who finished in just over 21 minutes, said: "It's been a quick turn around, but fantastic fun. We had to take six pit stops for Murphy to get water, so I'm surprised we did so well."

There to wave the runners on was 12-year-old Daniel George, who suffers from muscle-wasting condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and his dog Yogi, who won the Kennel Club's Friends for Life Trophy at Crufts in March.

Daniel, of Mons Avenue, Hebburn, South Tyneside, was cheered on by contestants as they passed by and he later joined them on the course with his mother Mary, 41.

The event is run by Tony Carlisle, Head of PE at Harton Technology College in South Shields, who organised the first event in 1990 with 13 dogs.

He said: "The day has been a brilliant success."

This year's dog walk is expected to raise more than pounds 1m for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Pets as Therapy, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the RSPCA, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals and Marie Curie Cancer Care.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 19, 2006
Words:268
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