4 Races to Do With Your Dog in 2012

Photo by Stacey Hedman, Cold Nose Photo

Wag for Swag

Make health and wellness a New Year's resolution for every member of your family and sign up for the Walk Run Wag 5K9, held on January 15, 2012 in San Diego, California. This race is part of a new series created by Petco, that also includes events in Tempe, Arizona, and San Antonio, Texas. Two-legged runners receive tech-tees, four-legged racers earn a commemorative collar and all can enjoy a gift bag full of goodies. A portion of race registrations will be donated directly to the Petco Foundation, which supports animals in need.
More info: (760) 635-1795, walkrunwag.com

KM's for K9's

On May 19, northern-dwelling pooches can head to a little city in the Big Sky State for five-plus miles of fun. The Bozeman Canine Classic offers both a 9K and one-mile fun run. The longer race loops through open trails offering scenic vistas and ends in dog-friendly Bogart Park in Bozeman, Mont. After you and your four-legged friend have finished your run, stick around to enjoy the outdoor festivities. You can treat your pup to a canine massage, reward her with custom pet jewelry and watch agility demonstrations from local K-9 units.
More info: (406) 587-4725, bozemancanineclassic.com

Run Free

Just a woman, her dog and the open trail--the Dirty Dog 15k Trail Run on May 19 is all about life's simple pleasures. One of the only races in the country that allows dogs to run off leash (after the first mile), this run snakes through single-track trails in West Virginia's Kanawha State Forest. Be prepared to get your shoes (and paws) muddy as you trod over roots, rocks and streams along rolling ridgelines. Gatorade for humans and water dishes for pups are provided every few miles. All racers can enjoy freshly baked treats at the finish line.
More info: (304) 741-3531, wvmtr.org

Groomed for Glory

Treat your pooch to a bucket of fun with a side dish of history. The Cape K9 Cardio 5k Trail Run, held on July 1, 2012, takes runners and their pups on a racing tour of historic Falmouth, Massachusetts. The course begins outside the prestigious Falmouth Academy before winding into the Beebe Woods, a former pastureland used by Native Americans and early colonists. Proceeds benefit the Falmouth Dog Park, and fun prizes (including free iPods!) are available for racers who raise substantial funds.
More info: (877) 592-2734, k95k.com

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Jessica Sebor, editor in chief of Women's Running magazine, is a running and fitness writer based in Florida.

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