If you’re a dog owner and a runner, your pooch is probably your favorite training partner. Man’s best friend can help you stick to a realistic pace, and lend a burst of energy when those legs start dragging. Plus, your pup will get a big woof being outdoors! But why not snag some hardware for your six-legged adventures? Thanks to these dog-friendly fun runs across the country, Fido can finally get a bite of glory. These races also offer plenty of post-race perks, like doggie treats and massages (human ones, too!). Here are nine events worth barking about.
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1. Paws Fur Pink
Location: Orange, CA
Date: February 18, 2018
Whether you’re undergoing cancer treatment or have a loved one who is, your dog is in it for the long haul, providing comfort and unconditional love. In this 5K and one-mile run or walk, participants can take their dogs along for the journey — costumes encouraged. Plus, there’s a Pawsitively Pink Costume Contest, complete with prizes for the prettiest pups in pink.
2. The Fast and the Furriest 5K
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Date: April 2018
The Gulf Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and there’s no better way to see it than running with your four-legged companion. This 5K and one-mile run and walk benefit the Gulf Coast Humane Society, the first nonprofit animal welfare organization in southwest Florida. The Society relies solely on donations, grants and fundraising events, so this event really helps dogs in need. We’ll raise a paw to that!
3. Doggie Dash 5K
Location: Portland, OR
Date: May 2018
If you want your dog to get the full-on runner’s experience, this is your event. After a 1.5- and 2.5-mile race through Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, take your dog to “Doggie Utopia,” where they’ll get treated to a dog massage, share secrets with a dog whisperer and chase bubbles at the Bubble Booth. Sounds like the best day ever!
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4. Tails ‘n’ Trails
Location: Omaha, NE
Date: May 2018
Pug Partners of Nebraska, Hands, Hearts Paws and Muddy Paws all benefit from the half-marathon, 10K, 5K and one-mile races for participants and their dogs. You’ll not only spread awareness about rescuing homeless dogs, you’ll get to enjoy nature on the trails of Chalco Hills. Plus, every dog gets a dog tag at the finish line. Top dogs will get a doggie bowl!
5. Furry 5K
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: June 2018
For 18 years, the Furry 5K has drawn thousands of two-legged and four-legged friends to raise money for the Seattle Animal Shelter Help the Animals Fund. After running 3.25 miles around Seward Park, you and your pup will be treated to a Pet-a-Palooza party, where you’ll see trained dogs show off their talents (and we mean more than just rolling over for a treat).
6. Green Mountain Irondog
Location: Colchester, VT
Date: September 2018
Think of this race as the equivalent of an Ironman race for humans. Dogs will experience what it takes to become a police K9 by running through obstacles. Expect to help your dog jump over walls, hop through tires and climb ladders. Participants include military veterans, police officers and civilians.
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7. Chasing Tail Run
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Date: September 2018
As one of the longer dog races, this 1.5- or 4-mile event takes place in downtown Salt Lake City and Memory Grove Park. You and your furry friend will chase down the finish line, where a free beer glass and dog treats from Squatters Brew Pub await. Benefitting the Salt Lake County Animal Services, this fun run boasts local food, drinks and community vibes — nothing ruff about that.
8. Howl-O-Ween 5K Mutt Run
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: October 2018
We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Halloween than parading our pups around in full costume. Until we found out it’s a mutt run! Hosted by California Labradors, Retrievers and More Rescue, the 5K run and walk is open to adults, children and leashed dogs. The reward for crossing the finish line? Doggie treats, of course.
9. Doggie Dash and Dawdle
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Date: November 2018
You’d think this doggie dash was a big-time marathon, attracting 4,500 runners each year. But no, it’s just a 5K run and one-mile dawdle that are two of the most popular races in Albuquerque. Post-run, you and Fido get to enjoy live music, barrel racing, dog sprints and doggie carnival contests. (Think: bobbing for cheese and paw print painting.) And it’s for a good cause: This event benefits the Animal Humane’s community programs for the area’s homeless pets.
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