Races to Run with your Dog in Georgia

walking the dogSo we’ve been talking a lot about New Year’s goals and, in particular, the goal of getting fit. When you’re a dog owner, you have the added motivation to get fit with your pet so you can both stay happy and healthy. It’s also great to have a workout partner who is always ready to go on a good jog.
While dogs will often run just for the joy of it, their human counterparts might need more incentive to lace up their shoes and hit the pavement. A great way to add focus and direction to your running regimen is to sign up for a race. The good news is there is a race to fit everyone, no matter what level runner you might be. Even better, there are races that welcome runners of both the two-legged and four-legged types. Here in Georgia there are plenty of races throughout the year to run with your dog.
Below are some of the fun options in areas near you. These races specifically invite owners to bring along their canine companions as running partners. The wonderful thing about running in pet-friendly races is that the proceeds of the race often go to pet-related causes, so you’re not only having a great time with your pet but you’re also giving to cause that will mean a lot to you as an animal lover. Check out additional information on the races’ respective websites to find out about registration, locations and directions, and how to qualify for a race by meeting special requirements for dogs and owners.

Run with the Dogs: Frostbite 5K
Date: January 10, 2015
Location: Decatur
Time: 9:00 AM
More information: www.rungeorgia.com/runwiththedogs.html
Come out to support the local high school and middle school. This family-friendly 5K invites all family members, furry and otherwise, to come out and brave the cold for either a run or brisk walk. Proceeds support the sports programs at Decatur High School and Renfroe Middle School.

5th Annual Dog Gone Cold 5K run/walk
Date: January 31, 2015
Location: Augusta
Time: 9:30 AM for the 1 mile fun run
10:00 AM for the 5K
More information: hopefulhounds/org/DogGoneCold5k.html
Sponsored by Hopeful Hounds, Inc., a local non-profit focused on improving pet wellbeing and care, this wintry run invites owners and dogs alike to run for a good cause.

2015 Georgia SPCA Run for the Rescues
Date: March 28, 2015
Location: Suwanee Town Center
Time: 8:30 AM for the Fun Run
9:15 AM for the 5K
More information: run4rescues.georgiaspca.org
In March the Georgia SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) will hold their 4th annual Run for the Rescues 5K, fun run, and festival. This event raises awareness and funds to benefit homeless pets. Come ready for lots of fun. In addition to the run there will be contests (pet/owner look-alikes, longest tail, tallest, shortest, best tricks, etc.), prizes, and lots of entertainment for everyone.

2015 Atlanta Dog Jog
Date: May 2, 2015
Location: Piedmont Park, Atlanta
Time: 9:00 AM for the one mile walk/run
9:30 AM for the 5K walk/run
More information: atlantadogjog.org
This event is presented by VetHeart of Georgia (formerly the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Foundation). The organization opens up the proceeds of the run to worthy beneficiaries. In 2014, benefits from the race went to Canine Assistants, a non-profit group that serves both children and adults with disabilities by raising, breeding, and training dogs to assist them.

Run Your Happy Tails Off!
Date: October 2015
Location: TBD
Time: TBD
More information: Check the website in spring 2015 for information about the 2015 race. Website: runyourhappytailsoff.com.
This dog-friendly 5K and fun run kicked off its very first event in October of 2014. The proceeds of the event were used to support the organization Happy Trails Pet Therapy. This group is made up of volunteers and their pets who make therapy visits to those in need of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive healing and assistance. The 2014 event went so well that the race looks to be back on track for 2015. Dates and times for the next race will be posted on the website in spring of 2015.

This is just a handful of the possibilities. Check out the listings in your area and find out if there is a pet-friendly race near you. You can also check the rules for other races to find out if dogs are welcome.
So as you’re setting your resolutions for this year, why not set a goal to run a race with your dog? You might like it so much that you’ll do it again before the year is through!



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