Dozens support inaugurul mud run after huge blaze kills dogs and cats

Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project, 1st Highfield Scouts before the event
Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project, 1st Highfield Scouts before the event

Dozens of people turned out in support of an inaugural mud run event which was rescheduled after a huge blaze ripped through a family home, killing five dogs and two cats.

The mud run took place at High Ashes Farm, Highashes Lane, Ashover, on Saturday (April 23).

Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project

Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project

The farm had been set to host the 5km/10km run in March, as part of High Ashes Rural Project (HARP), which supports people with learning disabilities.

However, a fire which investigators say was caused accidently, completely gutted out three rooms, forcing the event to be cancelled.

Owner of the home and organiser of the mud run, Philip Coates, said: “It went really, really well.

“It was great to see everybody really enjoying themselves.

Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project

Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project

“People really pulled together and we are going to host another one in October.

“After the fire it was nice to see people smiling again.”

Firefighters were called to the farm at about 10pm, on Thursday, March 17.

The five dogs killed were a mix of cairn terriers and cairn doodles - which was assistance dogs used by the not-for-profit organisation. Five new-born puppies and their mother were saved.

Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project

Charity Mud Run in aid of High Ashes Rural Project

Mr Coates’s wife Vanessa and their daughter Georgina, 22, had been watching television upstairs at the time but managed to escape without any injuries.

“We are slowly getting back to normal after the fire,” Philip said. “We are living back on site and repair work is about to start.

“To say it was the first mud run it went really well.

“About 50 people took part.

“There was loads of mud and it all came together.

“People said that it was tough enough for them. We even offered to let people run the 5km again for free but they couldn’t physically do it.”

Following the fire, Mr Coates said thanks to all members of the Business Network International, including Geoff Hagin of Barkers Locksmiths, Chesterfield, and Marcus Rhodes of Greenfrog Computing, Wingerworth.

“I would also like to thank John Federicks and Longcliffe Quarries at Matlock for their contributions.”

“We are planning for the next one now which we think will be at the end of October. We just need more people to get involved.”

To find out more information about the project and the next mud run, visit the High Ashes Rural Project Facebook page.