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In the crowd at Strutt with your Mutt

After running in the Strutt with Your Mutt 5K on Saturday, I walked my foster mutt Charlie Machete home.

He needed to rest up for the escape attempt he was planning for later that day. And I wanted to check out the festival portion of the event, unencumbered by my nervous-in-a-crowd running buddy.

My first point of action was to redeem my tickets for a plate of free pancakes from the local purveyor Chris Cakes. Then, I set too snapping camera pics of the many adorable doggies in attendance.

Loving dog friends

I’ll just take a peek through here…

Another between-the-legs moment: One of Kennel Creek Pet Resort owner Chris Sailors’  labradoodles decided to take a nap in the shade.

labradoodle in a Chiefs jersey

Fandom makes me tired.

Lots of dogs were dressed up and dyed for a costume competition. This poodle named Koda came from Richmond, Missouri, where his mom runs Haute Dog Grooming.

Poodle with zebra stripes

Dog or zebra?

I was happy to run into my neighbor Emily and her rescue puppy Cooper. Emily has a soft spot for Charlie Machete because for many years she had a big, handsome black rescue dog who adored her but wasn’t so great in crowds and took a while to warm up to new people.

Now, she has Cooper, whose personality exists on the polar opposite end of the spectrum. She said they had fun walking in the 3K Strutt.

Emily and Cooper

Cooper is curious about everything.

These well-behaved little dachshunds amused everyone as they rode through the crowd in the trailer hatched to their man’s bicycle.

dachshunds on a bike trailer

Giddee-yup!

Harley was my favorite dog of the day. Can you guess why?

Harley the min pin

Imagine if Scooby were very young with natural ears.

I couldn’t take my eyes off Harley once I spotted him. He was there with several members of his human family, plus a doberman in a rhinestone collar and a beagle who was wearing denim pants.

As the event wound down, Harley’s leash slipped out of his mama’s hands, and suddenly, there he was skittering past my feet and into the crowd. I was thrilled to be the one to scoop him up and return him!

His mama, who hadn’t yet realized he’d escaped, was overjoyed. And she was excited to see that I was wearing the same Midwest Adopt-a-Bull t-shirt she purchased at a different doggy event recently. Yay for pit bull-loving miniature pinscher people!

Thanks to Wayside Waifs for putting on this great event. And, again, thanks to everyone who sponsored Charlie Machete and me in the run.

We’re on the lookout for another dog-friendly race. In fact, Charlie Machete keeps telling me he wants to try a 10K next time!

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Lessons from running a 5K with a dog

We did it!

Charlie Machete and I completed the Strutt with Your Mutt 5K race to benefit Kansas City animal shelter Wayside Waifs. We even ran the whole gosh darned way!

Here’s our view of the 5K starting line:

Strutt with Your Mutt starting line

1, 2, 3 – Go!

That picture is the only one I got of the race.

It’s taken from so far away because I wasn’t sure how rowdy the other runners’ dogs may be, and I wanted to give Charlie Machete space. I wanted him to feel as comfortable as possible so that I could feel as comfortable as possible.

He gets a little nervous in crowds and when facing any situation for the first time.

Here’s a secret:

So do I.

In fact, on race day, my anxieties were high.

I fretted all morning: What if I get too hot in my running clothes? What if I don’t make it to the starting line on time? (We did cut things pretty close.) What if I’m uncomfortable running with my bag of things that I don’t usually carry on training runs? What if the walk from the house to the starting line wears me out and I can’t run the whole way? What if I trip and fall?

Luckily, everything worked out fine. The raceway (Broadway Boulevard) was wide, and most people were very much in control of their dogs. In spite of walking a couple of miles before starting the run, Charlie Machete and I never even considered walking.

Just like on our practice runs, anytime I started to feel tired, I simply looked down at him and said, “Good job, buddy! We got this!”

And we did. Although, I have no idea what our finishing time was.

What I learned from this event

It’s good that Charlie Machete and I had each other, but next time I participate in a public race, I’m making sure to coerce a friend or family member into running, too, or at least holding my belongings while I run cheering us on from the street.

Honestly, being there alone made crossing the finish line a somewhat anti-climactic experience.

Also, because I was so concerned with keeping the dog comfortable I totally failed to pick up the prizes we earned for our fundraising efforts. Getting them now requires additional logistical efforts on my part. Whoops.

But, the important thing for my foster dog’s development and my health is this: We’re going to keep running!

And I’m hoping to connect with some more local folks (maybe members of the KC Pittie Pack?) who would like to train with us. Let me know in the comments if that sounds like fun to you.

To see more pictures from Strutt with Your Mutt, check out Amy from Fido Fetch Photography‘s Twitter feed. She represented KC Pittie Pack in the 3K walk.

Come back here tomorrow for more on the people and dogs I ran into during the festival portion of the event.

Thanks again to everyone who supported Charlie Machete and me in this endeavor. We hope we made you proud!

black dog on a walk

Best. Running. Partner. Ever.

Want to make Charlie Machete your running partner? He’s available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

It’s 5K Day

We’re ready! (Even though Charlie Machete didn’t want his picture taken.)

Self portrait in running clothes

Self portrait in running clothes.

In less than an hour, foster dog Charlie Machete and I will begin the 5K Strutt with Your Mutt charity race to benefit Wayside Waifs. Big thanks to everyone who has supported us with encouragement and donations for homeless pets.

We racked up over $250 in sponsorships!

If you’re in the Brookside area of Kansas City this morning and see us run by, give us a holler. It should be hard to miss me in this outfit!

Note: I am wearing my KC Pittie Pack T-shirt instead of the official race shirt.

My first 5K

For 68 years, animal shelter Wayside Waifs has offered sanctuary, medical help and a second chance to homeless pets.

For 22 years, this organization has brought attention to its mission by bringing people and dogs together for a public race on the streets of Kansas City.

Strutt with your Mutt poster

Mutts will be struttin’

Many shelters exist in the Kansas City area. Wayside Waifs is one of the biggest, saving over 6,500 pets each year.

Whenever I meet people, of course, I always ask where their pets came from. I feel like almost 50 percent of the time if I ask that question in Kansas City, the response is “Wayside Waifs.”

Wayside Waifs is where Thunderlutz blogger Angela volunteers with shelter cats (which she once wrote about on this blog). It is also a shelter with which Kennel Creek Pet Resort recently partnered by getting a couple of adoptable Waifs dogs out of the shelter and into playgroups, training and, eventually, forever homes.

Now Wayside Waifs will be the reason I run my first 5K!

Strutt with Your Mutt consists of a 5K that can be run with or without a dog and 3K for people and pets who prefer a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City.

Participants set their own pace – on foot and in fundraising. There are prizes on the line for those who generate the most donations, but the physical race is not competitive.

That makes this event an ideal, no-pressure situation for Charlie Machete and me. As I pointed out yesterday, foster dog Charlie Machete is the most awesome jogging partner ever. But neither one of us in marathon condition.

We are currently jogging between 1.5 and 3 miles per day. We are slow. We are steady. We are committed.

I promised readers a few weeks back that to combat my premature old lady pains, I would make fitness and exercise a bigger priority in my life. Consider this event my way of staying accountable – while also remaining loyal to the cause of helping homeless animals.

Really – could there be a more perfect first 5K for me?

I hope to be running alongside fellow members of the KC Pittie Pack, some of whom have already committed to walking with their dogs in the 3K portion of the event. By the end of the race, I might be wishing I had opted to walk!

If you would like to sponsor Charlie Machete and me in Strutt with Your Mutt, visit our fundraising page and make a tax deductible donation to Wayside Waifs.

Charlie Machete jogging

Have you ever run a 5K? Tell us what we should expect!

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