2014 marked the third year of the Fast and Furry 8k and 5k, the Twin Cities premier outdoor pet-friendly event. Runners, walkers and their pups can participate in a 5k run/walk or an 8k run. Both distances are open to participating with your canine companion. The races are a fundraiser for several charities:
CAN DO CANINES – Current Raised Amount: $3,346.00
HOMEWARD BOUND RESCUE – Current Raised Amount: $1,705.00
MN PAWS – Current Raised Amount: $2,875.00
SAVED BY A WHISKER RESCUE – Current Raised Amount: $3,080.00
THE PET PROJECT – Current Raised Amount: $3,229.00
The race takes place at Harriet Island in St. Paul. I am not sure that I had ever been to this park, but it is quite nice!
After the races, there was also a “pet expo” with vendors and festivities for the whole family (particularly catered to the furry members of the family.)
The 8k event was pretty small, with only 53 runners. The 5k attracts are bigger crowd (and a more diverse set of dogs). Over 200 people finished the 5k. It was a hot and humid morning, and five miles (an 8k) is a little long for some dogs, whereas a 5k is a little more manageable.
There are restrictions for the 8k that you can’t carry or push your dog in a stroller, whereas the 5k is definitely a little more accessible for more dogs, and you can carry your dog however you want to.
I know that I was pretty darn hot running and I’m not wearing a fur coat, right? So it had to have been hot for the dogs too! Dustin ran with Matilda, and I ran by myself. He was definitely careful with her, letting her set the pace. The great thing about the 8k is that it was an out-and-back and there were water stops every mile. The race organizers definitely put a high priority on the safety of the dogs. They reminded participants multiple times not to push their dogs past their limits. They warned runners that if they were seen pulling their dogs along, they will be immediately disqualified.
Fortunately, all the participants seemed to put their dog’s safety first- it was a fun event for all participants, including the dogs. For example, I saw one woman in the 8k who turned around at the 5k point instead because she said her dog just wasn’t ready for the 8k after all in that heat.
Dustin and I were a little concerned about how Matilda would behave in her first sanctioned race. She’s generally a very sweet dog and also generally submissive to other dogs, but every once in awhile, she can get a little feisty on leash towards other dogs (though never towards people). However, she really surprised us. She was extremely calm before the race, not paying much attention to the other dogs at all! Maybe she in the zone, and doing some self-talk to pump herself up!
The race was supposed to start at 8 am, but it was delayed because someone actually STOLE the cups and water from one of the support stops. The organizers had to re-distribute supplies from other stops.
Can you believe that? Who steals water from a support stop? Ridiculous….
The start was delayed by close to a half an hour, but it was not the race organizers’ fault, though they were very apologetic. I totally respect that it was delayed, as they wanted to sort things out to ensure that there was enough water for all the dogs and runners. (SERIOUSLY- who steals water from a race??)
Again, Tilda didn’t seem to mind waiting…she was super calm before the start, while several of the other dogs were starting to whine and bark.
When it was time to start, we made our way to the front. There was a countdown, and then the air horn went off. Just like that, Tilda was OFF like lightning! Dustin said she was gunning it at the start- their first mile was 6:30! Their overall pace was 7:12. Dustin said Tilda definitely could have gone faster, but he wanted to be careful. He took the time to stop at each of the water stops to let her drink and chill for a bit before they’d take off again.
Since the course was an out-and-back, I was also concerned about what Tilda would do when she saw me on her way back. We often joke that she has a motto “No man left behind!” because she gets upset when one of us doesn’t stick with the pack when we’re running together. She’ll whine and keep looking back to find the man left behind. However, when she passed me at the race with Dustin, she barely gave me a glance as she pushed to finish in 4th place- 2nd place in the dog category 🙂
= ==== ======================= === === ============================== ======= ===== 1 126 Dan Laplante 30 M Britney Laplante 32:16 6:30 2 162 Phillip Lafriniere 32 M 32:29 6:32 3 116 Craig Hagensick 50 M 32:58 6:38 4 108 Dustin Benson 37 M Matilda 35:48 7:12 5 375 Brian Meadows 27 M Komo 37:54 7:38
I actually came in 4th place for women (keep in mind, there were only 53 runners in the 8k). If I had only pushed myself as hard as I had at the Irish Run 8k in March, I would have placed and received a prize! I guess there’s always next year…
I didn’t take the race that seriously, since it had been a full week of racing. I was also really sore from a tough kettle bells workout the Thursday before (We did a version of the Filthy Fifty Crossfit workout explained HERE) Excuses, excuses! But really, even though I wish I would have pushed a little harder, it was still a really fun event in which we will definitely participate next year.
I loved seeing all the different dog breeds that came out for the races. Of course, there were a lot of vizslas there- there are such a great running breed. But there were also a lot of BIG dogs- great Danes, sheepdogs, English Mastiffs (like the one pictured below) at the 5k, which was cool to see.
All the dog owners were so friendly. We ended up chatting with a lot of nice people. It was easy to have something to talk about, since we all obviously love our dogs and love running!
All canine participants received a bandana. There were a variety of colors available, but Dustin never picks the “girlie” colors like pink or purple for Matilda…so she got a yellow one.
Here she is modeling her commerative bandana. You can contact her agent if you want to book her modeling services in the future… 🙂
Sponsors of the Fast and Furry!
The race was sponsored by Pampered Pooch Playground, which is where Matilda goes for daycare and boarding. The people there are so great- I feel like they really care about Matilda, and she is 100% comfortable there. During the day at Pampered Pooch, the dogs are not in kennels, but are free to play all day with the other dogs, and they get a lot of love and attention from the staff. We can always check in to see her on the webcams on their custom iPhone app. I highly recommend Pampered Pooch for your furry family member!
The Fast and Furry was also sponsored by Bubbly Paws, a local dog-wash and groomer. Vizslas don’t need a ton of grooming, but we have still taken Tilda there a few times when she was super muddy from the dog park. Their facility is great, and Matilda leaves there super clean!
Check out THIS LINK for a full list of the rest of the sponsors.
If you have a dog, I definitely recommend participating in this race next year. I know that we will be there!