Bikes, boats – and a scooter – will take adventurer from John O’ Groats to Lands End

Sophie Rooney with her dog, Alan Smith. Sophie will be doing the DOGLE challenge, from John O' Groats to Land's End. NNL-190917-121145001
Sophie Rooney with her dog, Alan Smith. Sophie will be doing the DOGLE challenge, from John O' Groats to Land's End. NNL-190917-121145001

A Bodicote woman who has run from one end of Scandinavia to the other is preparing for a new challenge.

Sophie Rooney, 26, will be biking, kayaking and running 1,000 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for International Aid for the Protection and Welfare of Animals (IAPWA).

Called DOGLE, the tour will kick off on September 26 and run until October 26.

As part of the challenge, the distance will be done in 10 stages, with Sophie, who works for IAPWA, using a different sporting mode of transport for each one.

The stages are as follows: John O’Groats to Inverness (164 miles), gravel biking; Inverness to Fort William (60 miles), kayaking; Fort William to Milngavie (96 miles), trail running; Milngavie to Ambleside (126 miles), cycling; Lake Windermere (11 miles), swimming; River Levern (four miles), rafting; Haverthwaite to Prestatyn (140 miles), cycling; Prestatyn to Offa’s Dyke to Chepstow (177 miles), trail running; Chepstow to St Just (238 miles), scooting; St Just to Land’s End (eight miles), coastal path walk.

Along her route, Sophie will be accompanied by various athletes, world record holders and fellow adventurers with the last eight miles of the challenge being completed in the company of her dog, Alan Smith, who is named after the Leeds United and Manchester United footballer.

Sophie said: “I felt it was time for another challenge. I have itchy feet and I was keen to do something on a bigger scale.

“It is about seeing what’s out there and knowing that you don’t have to travel far to discover really cool places.

“It’s been in my mind to do Land’s End to John O’ Groats, but finding a different way of doing it.

“It’s a chance to combine different sports but also to get other people involved.”

The penultimate leg will be completed on an off-road scooter. Sophie is part of a group called the Yes Tribe and she plans to hire a scooter from them. She said: “It’s something different, something fun.”

Sophie, who was born in Hook Norton, will be supported by her boyfriend on weekends in a converted van but during the trip, plans to stay in campsites and has also received offers of places to stay.

She has been training hard and recently cycled the 95 miles from Shrewsbury to Pistyll, on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales, a route which took her over Snowdonia.

She added she had become used to cycling and running long distances over time.

Sophie will be fundraising through Just Giving at justgiving.com/fundraising/iapwa-challenge-team.

You can also follow Sophie’s journey through Facebook at www.facebook.com/thesophierooney/

IAPWA helps animals in need and started out helping cats and dogs in Borneo.