Sunday, June 14, 2009

Verona Dog Jog 2009 Report

Saturday, June 14, 2009
Verona, WI

On Saturday I ran a dog jog in a small suburb of Madison. I wasn't really sure what to expect or if it was even a race. It benefited an animal hospital and was right by the dog park that I always take my dog (Bella) to.

The weather was cool with sprinkles, so I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of the actual event because I was worried about my camera getting wet.  But I did snap a few of Bella right before the run. It was a very small event consisting of maybe 75 people or so. Turns out that it wasn't a race at all. I didn't even know how far we would be running! Still, it ended up being a lot of fun.

We congregated at a shelter in the park and amidst many barking dogs we were informed that we'd be running/walking on some grassy trails (that are actually part of the Ice Age Trail, which runs through all of Wisconsin and was formed by glaciers. See informational website here: Ice Age Trail) Most people walked the event opposed to running. I'd say maybe 15 people ran and the rest walked. I chatted with a woman who had a Boston Terrier who asked me if I ran a lot with my dog and she was very impressed to hear that Bella had run up to 8 miles with me before. She had on a Whistle Stop marathon shirt, so she was obviously a runner.

There was no timing or clocks or mile markers. We just kind of started. I ran around my 5K pace or so. The trail was very nice. Lots of trees, some hills, some wild flowers and prairie. There was a water stop in the middle - both for humans and dogs! We just buzzed right past it. Bella was very excited to be running on a nice, grassy, interesting smelling trail opposed to the street so she was just pulling me along. We were done before I knew it! Garmin told me that it was just a tad over 2 miles with my time being 19:23. I was the 4th person to finish. Too bad it wasn't a race!

I chatted with the runners and we ate yummy bone shaped cookies that the event gave out. There were kiddy pools filled with water for the dogs to lay in. Bella made ample use of those and made some new dog friends in the process. Finally the walkers started trickling in and they gave out some really nice door prizes including a free day to doggie day care, Frontline, and some services at the animal hospital. We also received a goody bag with a t-shirt, a bandana for your dog (see pictures), a dog brush, a pen shaped like a dog, some dog treats and coupons for free ice cream. It was a really nice event, actually. I'll definitely be doing it again next year. Not only was it for a good cause, but very well organized and I met some really nice people.

The sun was starting to come out as the event finished and seeing that I didn't live too far away, I ended up leaving my car at the park (coming back for it later, obviously) and then running home with Bella, putting me at about 8.5 miles for the day.

Bella smiles and sports her new bandana!

As you can kind of see in the background, the park was very pretty!

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