Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Woofin' It 5K told through pictures

Last weekend, I did the Woofin' It 5K charity race to benefit the Clive Jaycees and, much more importantly, Furry Friends Refuge.

A friend/fellow athlete, upon hearing of my race plans amid post-half marathon laziness, said jokingly: "Better get out there and run, otherwise you're gonna be out-of-shape for this race!"

I laughed dismissively. "I'll be fine. It's a race with dogs. It's not serious."

A few days later, on a beautiful Saturday morning, I may have ate those words.

The ultimate costume contest winners: Thing 1 and Thing 2. I've never had such a pleasant prerace wait — so many dogs of so many breeds/mutt mixes, and in so many pieces of clothing!
Most dogs, like this tropically dressed one, were eager to meet and greet their competitors. Many butts were sniffed; many howls and barks were emitted; many humans were jerked in random directions and tangled up by leashes.
When my friend/fellow racer Cory and I approached the shelter director to ask for our dogs, she told us only one was left. This is Sam, a 3-year-old coonhound mix. "Are you real runners?" the director asked us. "Because Sam really likes to run." I was too full of pride at being able to answer yes that I didn't think too hard about what her question meant.
It took all of a mile for me to be grateful that I was sharing Sam with Cory. The first mile was uphill, and Sam's legs were apparently far fresher than mine. Also not helping my performance: how much I kept laughing in between shouts of "Sam, heel!" while keeping a two-handed death grip on his leash.
Sam did a great job. He made the classic rookie mistake of going out too fast, but he took advantage of the water stops and ignored my suggestion that we take a few walk breaks — for his sake, of course, not mine.
This was the toughest 5K I've done in Des Moines — my shoulders and back ached for 24-plus hours afterward — but it was hands-down the most fun 5K I've done, too. Consider me registered (mentally) for the 2014 edition!

1 comment:

  1. This is AMAZING!!!! I want to do a race with dogs! My dog is WAY faster than me, but she doesn't last as long. Sam is a cutie!