August 3rd 2008 5:43 pm
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Muddy Paws 2008: See Spot Run!
By Dutchie McBarkis-Lane
If you think that trail running is exclusively a bipedal extracurricular activity, you need to expand your mind! The Muddy Paws Trail Run, put together by the Humane Society of Greater Akron and Vertical Runner, was held on July 12 at the Pine Hollow trailhead (or Pine Howl-o, as the pups call it) in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Dogs and their human companions could run a two-mile trail run, or solo sans-pup runners could choose from five- and ten-mile trail races.
My cousin Buddy and I eagerly anticipated Muddy Paws. It is one of the canine community's most pup-ular events. This was our third year and it just keeps getting better and better. When the day finally arrived, we could barely contain our excitement. It was "pawsome" to see so many pups prancing through the park. Dogs of all breeds and sizes attended the race. I saw plenty of my floppy-eared friends, but I also saw some of my human pals, such as Mike Stone, Jim Chaney, Wendy Hoffman, Joey Phillips, Bill Holland and John Fisch. The human participants received t-shirts with cool artwork on them. My mom and Cousin Emily got stylish brown cotton shirts, and the shirt we picked up for Debi Glinsek was an olive green tech shirt. Very nice! Debi was unable to run the race because she has a broken leg. Get well soon Debi!
The dogs did not receive t-shirts, which in this hound’s humble opinion was a good thing. We’d rather have biscuits and a good pettin’ at the finish line. Incidentally, I was grateful to see a lack of canine couture at this race. I get howlin' mad when I'm at a summer event and see a pup all dressed up in a sweatshirt. We've got fur, doggone, it! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the cuddly warmth of a sweater during the winter, but in July? Pup-lease! For Muddy Paws, you need to leave your "I'm not fat, just fluffy" t-shirt at home.
The starting line was a festival of sniffing. Buddy and I experienced sensory overload! The race itself was on “ruff” terrain, but participants enjoyed the challenge. I’m not sure who panted more … the humans or the dogs!
At the finish line, the friendly Humane Society volunteers fulfilled all of our doggie desires. There were bowls of fresh water and a volunteer gave us biscuits the size of my noggin! Buddy wolfed his down in one bite, but I took five minutes to delicately crunch mine.
This bark-worthy event was so great it made us stand up and beg! Proceeds from the race support pups in need at the Humane Society of Greater Akron, so Buddy and I were happy to once again participate. If you have a dog, you should consider running Muddy Paws next year! Your pup doesn’t have to be a Fast Fido or Fifi … dogs of all paces and sizes can enjoy this event. I’ll bark at you later!
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