Fundraiser takes on trilogy of charity challenges to raise money for retired police dogs


Police officer Jamie Davies, 27, from Rhondda, took on the first of three challenges – Ironman Lanzarote – earlier this month.

Jamie – who serves with South Wales Police in the organised crime unit – started completing endurance events in 2017 after losing approximately six stone in bodyweight.

He said: “I went from not being able to run five minutes, to running a half marathon! I wanted to take on another challenge so I ended up taking on the Marathon Eryri – in Snowdonia – and then really caught the bug.

“I was always looking for the next challenge so I set myself a new goal; to complete an Ironman triathlon.”

Jamie completed Ironman Wales in 2018 and admitted he was ‘hooked’, completing seven Ironman triathlons and 25 marathons and ultramarathons since.

This year, Jamie wanted a bigger challenge and signed up for a double Ironman race but it was cancelled due to a lack of entries so he went back to the drawing board.

“I decided if I couldn’t do a double Ironman challenge then I’d go one step further and tackle three,” Jamie said. “I wanted to try challenges that would take me out of my comfort zone as well as ticking experiences off my bucket list.”

Jamie signed up to take on:

  • 18th May – Ironman Lanzarote
  • 23rd June – Dragon Devil
  • 20th July – Dragon 100

Jamie said: “Ironman Lanzarote is often referred to as the toughest Ironman there is; it’s a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle, and a 26.2 mile run.

“The Dragon Devil is considered the toughest sportive in the UK; a 296km bike ride with 4,616m of ascent.

“And the Dragon 100 is a 100 mile ultra race from Rhossili Bay to Cardiff Bay within 34 hours.

“These events will be a huge challenge for me; they’re all so different and all long-distance endurance events.”

He completed Ironman Lanzarote earlier this month in 14 hours, describing it as “warm, windy and a tough day out”.

Jamie is hoping to raise £500 for the Thin Blue Paw Foundation; a charity that supports serving and retired police dogs across the UK. The Foundation provides financial support to the owners of retired police dogs for veterinary treatment.

“As a police officer I see the work that police animals do, day in and day out. It blows my mind that they do all of this and then, when they retire, they leave with nothing.

“I believe that the work the Thin Blue Paw does for these animals and the support they provide to their owners is second to none, and gives these dogs the best life post-service.”

There are approximately 400 dogs registered with the Thin Blue Paw and the charity provides financial grants to owners for medication, therapy, and veterinary procedures.

Charity trustee Kieran Stanbridge said: “A lot of people don’t realise that when a police dog retires, there is no financial support from the force they served with.

“Police dogs lead strenuous lives and often retire with health problems, such as arthritis. Most insurance companies won’t offer them cover so their new owner can face expensive ongoing veterinary care without any financial support.

“That’s why we launched the Foundation, to ensure these canine heroes get the treatment and the retirement they deserve after years of loyalty, dedication and service.”