Our dogs are our best friends. They instantly brighten our day with a friendly wag of the tail, they’re the best listeners around and, just like us, they love to run.
As the weather cools, take advantage of the opportunity for some active quality time with your pooch by participating in one of these doggie dashes.
Doggie Dash & Dawdle 5K & Summer FestivalAug. 27, 2016; Upland, Calif. 1 of 11
Good luck finding a more feel-good use of your time. The American Cancer Society Bark for Life honors the loyal, caregiving nature of man's best friend with a 5K and summer festival for dogs and their owners. Proceeds benefit the fight against cancer. The outdoor doggie festival will include music, vendors, demonstrations, competitions and other canine-related activities.
Wild Half Race Series – Doggie DashSept. 10, 2016; Wildwood, N.J. 2 of 11
For the first time ever, the Wild Half race series is giving dog owners and their beloved pets the opportunity to race side-by-side on the Wildwood beaches in either a 5K or a one-mile race. Both events will begin—conveniently for the pooch—in front of a 25-foot-tall fire hydrant, and finish on the beach. Funds raised will benefit Team Foster, a non-profit organization that pairs service dogs with tri-state area veterans suffering from combat-related disabilities.
Santa Paws 5KDec. 17, 2016; Palm Springs, Calif. 3 of 11
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear wearing a Santa suit and running with your pup at Santa Paws—a dog-loving 5K set to donate all proceeds to Guide Dogs of the Desert. Each participant will receive a five-piece Santa suit—jacket, pants, hat, belt and beard—that can (should) be worn during the event.
Jog with Your DogSept. 24, 2016; Mountain Home, Ark. 4 of 11
Few regions of the U.S. are more picturesque than the Ozarks and Mountain Home is no exception. With that in mind, the first weekend of the fall is a perfect time to enjoy a jog—or a stroll—with your pup, while perched atop north Arkansas' rolling hills. An Iron Doggy-sponsored event, Jog with Your Dog donates all proceeds to the Mountain Home Dog Park and the Humane Society of North Central Arkansas.
Green Mountain Iron DogOct. 1, 2016; Colchester, Vt. 5 of 11
Now in its 17th year, the Green Mountain Iron Dog—put on by the Vermont Police Canine Association—involves a 1.5-mile course where handler and dog must run through a bevy of obstacles over diverse terrain. The course is intended to simulate the authentic experiences of Police K9 units. In addition, the Iron Dog also includes a drug search competition and a dog-only 100-yard dash.
The Lucky Dog Dash 5K Fall 2016Oct. 16, 2016; Barnesville, Penn. 6 of 11
One of the most aesthetically pleasing races of the season, the Lucky Dog Dash 5K rounds Locust Lake at Locust Lake State Park amidst breathtaking fall foliage. The event raises funds for K9s for Warriors—a non-profit foundation that unites rescue dogs with veterans suffering from various service-related traumas.
Ruffwear Half Marathon Dog LegOct. 23, 2016; Hood River, Ore. 7 of 11
The perfect combination of scenic and punny, the Columbia Gorge Ruffwear Half Marathon Dog Leg has been called, "the most scenic marathon in the country," with stunning views along the historic Columbia River Highway that splits Washington and Oregon. The Dog Leg Half is just that: a half marathon for dogs and their owners—one of the few races of this distance for our canine compadres.
Bark 'N Dash 5K & Family Dog WalkOct. 29, 2016; Annapolis, Md. 8 of 11
The Bark 'N Dash 5K is part of a community initiative to encourage local Annapolis residents to be active. The race takes place in Quiet Waters Park alongside the Chesapeake Bay in one of the most scenic autumn areas in the country. Pro tip: An Instagram picture that includes your dog, a body of water and turned leaves checks so many boxes—likes for days.
The Halloween Doggy RunOct. 30, 2016; Melbourne, Fla. 9 of 11
There are many wonderful reasons to own a dog. One perk is having an ever-eager running partner that never hits snooze on their alarm clock. Another is the unadulterated joy that comes with dressing your pooch up like a hot dog—or bat dog, or a Chia pet (ha, get it?). But, when the two come together? Come on.
The Dash 5K & Doggie RunNov. 6, 2016; Washington, D.C. 10 of 11
The Capital Sprints season concludes with the Dash 5K—a dog-friendly event—and the Doggie Run. The latter is a one-mile fun run that benefits the Washington Animal Rescue League, a 100-year-old animal welfare group named one of the Top 10 Emergency Placement Partners in the U.S. by the Humane Society. In 2013, the WARL adopted out a record 2,000 animals. Don't forget your dog's costume—awards will be handed out to the best dressed pups in attendance.