Gone To The Dogs

Has running gone to the dogs? Probably.

With the popularity of running at an all-time high, it’s fun to see the creative side of the sport. Some races encourage costumes, which have been a staple at some marathons for years, or offer unique distances or prizes. And there’s races like The Ultimate Beer Run series, Beer Mile World Championships and the North American Wife Carrying Championship.

There’s even races for canines and their owners, including the Dog Jog in Grand Forks. I’ve taken my pooches to races: Riley and I traversed the muddy trails of Beyond Running’s Filthy 5K in Moorhead, and Coby — when he was 3 months old — joined me for a 5K in Fargo.

Some dog races are highly competitive. Earlier this month, the State Street Mile in Santa Barbara, Calif., hosted the Dog Mile.

Josh Helton and his lab/pit bull mix, Bro, set a new record. Yes, his dog’s name is Bro. And the pair are the fastest human/dog combo in the world. Read this story to find out how the race unfolded for Josh and Bro on their way to a 4:15 mile.

It’s not a title that Coby and I will ever compete for. For the record, though, I’m the one holding him back because he’s one of the most athletic dogs I’ve ever encountered. And he love’s to run.

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Beyond the quirky races, there are several events aimed at raising money and funds for really good causes. In the summer, on almost any given weekend, you can find a 5K run/walk with a perfectly legitimate benefactor.

Since my main running goals have focused on marathons, my participation in smaller or shorter events often has been limited. But there are a few types of events that capture my interest, whether it’s a trail race with a unique setting, intriguing concept or simply different.

A mid-week race may not fit that definition, other than the timing of the event, but I like them because there’s simply not many of them. Take tonight’s Hillsboro 5K/10K, for instance. Race proceeds will go for equipment in the Hillsboro Fitness Center. Last year’s event drew nearly 400 runners, a pretty sizable crowd for a community race. Putting this event on a Thursday also helps organizers avoid competing with other events.

1 Response

  1. Speaking of unique races, I’d like to invite you to Cooperstown, ND, on June 23rd, where I help put on a Tag Team Relay Race on a 1-mile course. There are Male, Female, and Co-Ed divisions that race that evening. The tag team consists of two people, and do one mile each. First runner tags their partner and the partner finishes it. It’s a fun race that gets couples, friends, and families together for a fun night of racing.
    I’ve also done Tag Team Races in Finley before, and last year at Mayville State for their Farmer’s Bowl event. I plan to hold another at Mayville State once again for the Farmer’s Bowl event this fall. More information is on my website at climbthepodium.com.

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