Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Run With The Pack Recap

Photo by Steve Matheny

They say a dog often takes after its owner. And, in my case, that seems to be true! My newly rescued pet chihuahua Slider has been an absolute joy over the past month that I have owned him. Just like me, he seems to be quite the adventurer and athlete! Not many would expect that out of a nine pound fully grown dog, but I have certainly lucked out by landing myself an OHventurous canine companion!

This was evidenced by our recent participation in the "Run With The Pack 5K" to benefit Pets Without Parents. The race is designed so that you can run with your dog, with the entry fee going toward a great cause of helping shelter pets find homes. It took place this past weekend, Saturday, June 23 bright and early at 8:30 AM at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park.

Slider and I arrived at 7:30 AM with my mom and aunt who were visiting Columbus for the weekend. We had a late night, so an early morning race was going to prove challenging. I chugged a 5 Hour Energy Drink, ate some granola bars and stretched out in preps for the event. This was my first official race since running the Capital City Half Marathon in May, and I was still recovering from illiotibial (IT) band syndrome from that race. Slider and I had run just a couple of times in the days leading up to the race, but I had seen him run freely in the dog park and knew he'd be a fast one!

Photos by OHventures

Dozens of booths lined the paths near the starting line, including a Doggy Kissing Booth, raffle drawings, giveaways, sponsors, and more! Some of my favorite booths included the Pet Butler (who cleans your yard when **it happens!), the Animal Hospital of Polaris (which seems to have a great deal of amenities), and the various booths offering treats and other services.

Literally hundreds of dogs and their owners were at the park on that beautiful Saturday morning. Some people ran without a dog as well, or there were multiple people running with one dog. Every breed imaginable was present, from bulldogs to bichons, collies to cocker spaniels, and mutts galore! Slider was definitely in the smaller size bracket, but that did not stop him from performing above and beyond any expectations!

The horn blew when I was in the middle of filling out raffle tickets, so I had a bit of a delayed start. But once we started running, it was Slider speeding ahead, zipping through the crowd and causing quite a spectacle! Many people commented to us as we ran by, in aw at how quickly my dog's four little legs were moving. I had a hard time keeping up with the little guy! However, immediately when we hit the 1 Mile Marker, right by the Scioto River, Slider had to take a rest to go potty and drink some water.

We picked up the pace again for the second mile, as we ran under a path shaded nicely by trees. Still, I was pouring down sweat, and it seemed to be time to downshift to a power walk for a bit. At one point, I picked Slider up to give his paws a break as we jogged for a few tenths of a mile. After stopping for some more water, we kicked it into gear and ran the third and final mile. More comments came from fellow runners who were impressed and amused by Slider's abilities and demeanor.

I too gave compliments and made comments to other runners on how well their dogs were doing, and how beautiful their pets were! There was a gorgeous husky running near us most of the time, and a number of retrievers I was fond of! But the chit chat was kept to a minimum, as Slider and I had a lot to prove! We finished strong with a time of approximately 33 minutes! I was very proud of my dog (and I am sure he was proud of me). We had some water, and also had him cool off in a small doggy pool. After replenishing with a bagel and apple, we mingled (including with my friend and OHventurer Jason Warner) and made our way back home to rest!

I have to say that this was one of the most fun things I have done in a long, long time! If you have a dog, and/or if you simply care about dogs, I highly encourage you to participate! This race brings a smile to my face seeing all of the happy-go-lucky dogs running about, and knowing that it goes to such a good cause. There are other dog runs around the state that you can keep an eye out for! It is quite an experience!

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