I ran the Doggies 4 Duchenne 5k last weekend. First 5k I’ve run in two years. As an ultra runner, it’s hard for me to justify paying to run 3.1 miles but I love this race and the charities it supports; The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch and Another Day for Gray. The best part though … there’s a human only race and a canine-human race! What’s not awesome about being to race with your dog?! Sign. Me. Up.
But herein lies the problem. I run with Ellie, my border mix, all the time. Buuuuuuut she’s psychotic. We run trails mostly. Primarily because I prefer being in the woods but it’s also the least mortifying experience. Ellie has a tad bit of reactivity to bikes. And skateboards. Don’t even get me started on rollerbladers. Even the occasional runner. She just wants to chase. The prey drive in that dog is insane! But since I can’t keep up with every cyclist that flies by, the result is an ear piercing squeal that rivals the sound of nails on a chalkboard.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, we do own a dog training company. But haven’t you ever heard the old adage that the maid’s house is always dirty and the mechanic’s car is always broken down in the driveway … so yeah, don’t judge a dog trainer by their personal dogs. Please.
Dogs and humans lined up at the start line were, not surprisingly, more than Ellie could handle. We opted to hang off to the side and keep our distance but Ellie’s squealing still resulted in more than our fair share of stares and I came close to calling the race before it even began for us. We stuck it out though then jumped in somewhere between leashed pups and the doggie strollers. Yup, apparently even dog 5ks have a stroller option.
Ellie loves to run. She’s done up to 16 miles with me and freaks if I walk out the door without her when I’m wearing running shoes so it didn’t take long before she settled into a good pace. We chatted with a couple runners along the way, including my friend Tam whose puppy Lucy was doing her first 5k ever and even dodged a few mid-run poopers. Seriously how does a dog crap without breaking a single stride?! Impressive! And I likely know a runner or two who would welcome some advice.
We ended up finishing the race in 26:07 which was a good minute faster than my last dog-free 5k. One of these days I would love to do a one mile time trial with Ellie. Well, not actually with her. I have no doubt that dog would need someone far faster than me. But I’m so curious to see what she could do.
The after-race party was a bit more than I wanted to handle Ellie during so she hung out with one of our trainers while I sampled the local brew and eats. Though a far shorter day than most of my race days, it was a fun time for all!
If you’ve ever considered racing with your dog, this is a great one to start with. Hope to see you out there next year!