A DETERMINED runner has devised a ‘barking’ idea to raise money for charity.

Anna Gainey, a lecturer at Deeside College, is running the London Marathon in April and will host a beauty contest for dogs to raise £2,800 for the RNLI.

Pet owners can enter their pooch in categories such as best puppy, scruffiest dog, best dressed dog and action dog.

Lucky winners could bag a £30 voucher for mobile grooming service Dial-a-Dog-Wash plus bags of food and delicious chew treats from Jollyes Pet Superstore in Flint and Pets Pantry in Holywell.

The 28-year-old from Gresford, Wrexham, has devised the novel idea with the help of colleagues Josie Slater and Ann Griffiths.

She said: “I’m not a runner and never was a runner, but it’s a challenge and I like doing things I don’t think I will be able to do.

“The college is allocated a place in the marathon every year so I thought I had more chance of me achieving it with their support.

“My colleagues are always bringing in pictures of their dogs into the office. There is a friendly rivalry going on and that’s where the idea came from.”

Anna, who has a four-year-old son Tom, has embarked on a rigorous training regime to get her fighting fit for the marathon. I’ve only started running properly since January,” she said.

“I am pushing myself to run a mile further every week. Hopefully by the half-term holidays I should be able to run a half-marathon.”

As well as the doggie beauty contest, there will also be a fundraising day on February 19 and a comedy evening on March 25.

Anna added: “Staff will be doing a sponsored walk from the college to Asda in Queensferry where we will be bag-packing.

“The comedy night will feature the compere Silky who regularly performs at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold.”

Entries for the doggie beauty contest must be submitted by February 16 and the winning entry will be drawn on February 18.

Email slaterj@deeside.ac.uk for an entry form and drop off your photographs and £1 entry fee in an envelope at the Connah’s Quay campus at Deeside College.

Make sure you include your name and contact details and the categories in which you would like to enter your dog.

See www.justgiving.com/annagainey to sponsor Anna.