October 18, 2014 | Pasadena, CA
Dad was looking for a 5K to do for work and health insurance benefits, and when our original one didn't pan out, we thought the next best bet was one that a) benefitted animals and a rescue organization, b) I could bring Molly and run her and c) was flat and all around our favorite Rose Bowl. Best yet, my uncle wanted to come walk it, so mom and grandma wanted to come watch! A family affair. Uncle had to bail after being called into work earlier in the week, but mom, dad, Molly and I still had a blast.
This race is all over - LA, Orange County, and Portland, all in the fall months. They offer a kid's fun run, a dog walk, and both a 5 and 10K, with opportunities for you to race with your dog too for just a few bucks extra. Since I figured it benefitted the pups (okay, cats too), may as well bring Molly along for the fun! Humans get race shirts, dogs get bandanas and we all know how much of a bandana girl Molly is.
The race "expo", if you want to call it that, had tons of pet vendors selling custom treats, harnesses, leashes as sort of pet boutique. There were also tons of local rescue groups and humane socities out, but that early in the morning yet there weren't many dogs out for adoption (mom said there never really were either, or they were all super small dogs). We ran into one of my Ragnar So Cal teammates, Beth, and her weimaraner Timmy, who were doing the 10K. We heard about this race through them!
And then it was go time -- they did a lot of waves for the race (both the 5 and 10K start together), and asked that those running with dogs don't start before the 4th wave. Dad started in wave 2 or so, and Molly, Beth, Timmy and I all hung to the side until about wave 5, when we just jumped in and got on our way. The 5K is one loop up and around the Rose Bowl, golf course, and back down through the parking lot; the 10K just does the course twice. I'm glad we weren't doing the 10K, though I think I would like to train Molly up to a race of that distance.
The course is easy, and mostly flat, though the first bit is a long though very casual grade up to the north side of the Bowl, across the wash. The last half is just as much of an easy, long downgrade into the finish. Molly and I caught up to dad just before the mile 3 marker, but he told us not to run to the finish with him, but to go on! So Molly and I trucked on and finished a few minutes before him...
... and while I was getting Molly water, we missed his epic jump into the finish! We've got this on video, too, and it's pretty freaking fantastic. I'm sad I missed it in person.
Dad rocked his second 5K in 38:56 (6th in his age group) and Molly set a new PR at 28:13 (good for fourth in our age group of 62!, and technically 2nd place in our group with a dog. Happy Saturday! I'm so proud of dad. He's a little bummed by his time but I told him that's another good reason to sign up for another one, to work on that time thing. ;) I'll get him sucked in, promise!
Do you run with your dog? How about races?