Temperatures are rising, trees are blossoming and birds are singing, which can mean only one thing -- spring has nearly sprung. For running enthusiasts and their four-legged pals, it’s time to shake off the winter blues and reacquaint themselves with the great outdoors. Lace up Fido’s trainers and hit the track for these 10 dog-friendly spring runs around the country.
Posted by Scott Tunstall
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1. Hippie Dash 5K
Break out Fido’s tie dye tank top and head to the Sunshine State for the Hippie Dash 5K at Safety Harbor’s Downtown Marina. Only two-legged runners can race the 5K, but doggy joggers are free to stretch their paws on the 1-mile Walk, Woof & Roll. Feel misty breezes on your face as you trot along the beach and through downtown Safety Harbor. All walkers receive a t-shirt and medal, and prizes will be awarded for the most far-out hippie attire. Registration for the 5K costs $35 per person and $25 per person for the Walk, Woof & Roll. All proceeds benefit Goodwill’s services for people with barriers to employment.
The Hippie Dash 5K will be held on Saturday, May 16 at 8 a.m. Stick around for the post-race party to enjoy free beer and munchies while a guest DJ spins groovy 60s tunes. If you’re staying in the area, check out these cool Airbnb rentals in nearby Clearwater.
2. 8th Annual Run for Animals 5K
Mutt marathoners can put their long-distance speed to the test at the 8th Annual Run for Animals 5K in Bethel, Connecticut. This certified 5K competition is open to serious and casual runners, but make sure your prancing pup has the endurance to compete. Water stations will be positioned throughout the course for proper hydration. The first 300 participants to register receive a free t-shirt for themselves and a bandana for Fido. The top three male/female with dog finishers earn prizes, and healthy snacks and drinks will be served after the race. The cost to enter is $35 per adult prior to race day and $40 on the day of the event. All proceeds benefit the Danbury Animal Welfare Society.
The 8th Annual Run for Animals 5K takes place on Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. You and your pooped pooch can recharge your batteries at the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Bethel Danbury, located 3 miles from the course.
3. Doggie Dash & 5K
The competition will be heating up in Hotlanta for the Doggie Dash & 5K in Piedmont Park. Galloping Golden Retrievers can sprint to the finish in the 1-mile dash or set the pace in the 5K scramble. Water stations along the course will help keep Fido hydrated. Participating pups can chill in the sponsor circle after the run to score some sweet swag from the on-site pet vendors. Registration is $25 per person in advance and $35 on race day. You can also purchase a dog bone-shaped plaque with your pup’s name to be placed along the dog park gates for an additional cost of $50. Proceeds from the Dash go to maintain and enhance Piedmont Park Dog Park.
The Doggie Dash & 5K will be held on Sunday, March 15 at 9 a.m. The Residence Inn Atlanta Midtown Peachtree at 17th offers cozy pet-friendly accommodations less than a mile from the park.
4. Muddy Paws Fun Run/Walk
Get ready for a filthy good time at the Muddy Paws Fun Run/Walk in Woodburn, Oregon. Pups can join you for a 3K or 5K run/walk across the flowering fields of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. Water will be provided, and a waste bag dispenser is available near the gift shop. All participants who pre-register receive a free t-shirt, and small and large doggy bandanas can be purchased for an additional fee of $10. Registration is $35 per person. Proceeds from the event will benefit various local animal shelters and pet rescues.
The Muddy Paws Fun Run/Walk kicks into gear on Saturday, May 2 at 10 a.m. Fido can kick up his paws for the night at the Best Western Woodburn.
5. Running for the Bulls 5K
Four-legged Forrest Gumps don’t have to run all the way to Spain for the Running for the Bulls 5K. Instead, they can find their way to Red Mountain Park in Birmingham for a friendly day of running for a cause. Pups are permitted to join either the 5K or the free 1-mile Fun Run. T-shirts are available to purchase for $20, and canine coaches can buy a stylish doggy bandana for an additional fee of $10. Registration for the 5K is $35 prior to the race and $40 on race day. Proceeds from the event are donated to Bama Bully Rescue, an organization dedicated to finding foster and forever homes for bully breeds.
The Running for the Bulls 5K is set for Saturday, March 28 at 9 a.m. You and your shaggy teammate can take a post-run siesta at the nearby Drury Inn & Suites Birmingham Lakeshore Drive.
6. Mighty Dog 5K and 10K
Get your sprinting spaniel ready for a beach dash at the Mighty Dog 5K & 10K in Folsom Lake. Furry runners and walkers will be divided into three weight divisions, plus a canicross group. Pups can quench their thirst at the water station positioned at the course’s halfway point. The top three finishers in each division will be given a special award. Each canine competitor receives a custom Mighty Dog Finisher Medal and a Mighty Dog Tag. Bags of treats and hot meals will also be served after the event. Commemorative Mighty Dog shirts can be purchased for $15. The 5K costs $45 to register in advance and $50 on race day, and the 10K costs $50 in advance and $55 on race day.
The Mighty Dog 5K & 10K starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. Rest and refuel with complimentary cookies and dog bones at Larkspur Landing Folsom, located 8 miles from Folsom Lake.
7. Dog ‘N’ Jog 5K
Zip on down to Zane State College for the Dog ‘N’ Jog 5K in Zanesville, Ohio. You and your speedy shepherd can run or walk the 5K course that cuts through Collegial Woods and the surrounding campus. Waste bags are provided and water stations are positioned along the route. The top 3 male and female finishers with dogs receive special awards, and the first 100 to finish are gifted medals. Raffles are held throughout the day and pet vendors will be on site selling a variety of merchandise. Registration costs $30 prior to the event and $35 on race day. Proceeds benefit the Animal Shelter Society.
The Dog ‘N’ Jog 5K will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. If Fido needs a secluded spot to ice down his paws, there are several pet-friendly Airbnb cabins available in and around Zanesville.
8. Paws on the Pavement 5K
Furry athletes will be bolting to River Park on the banks of the Wisconsin River for Paws on the Pavement 5K. Mutts can strut their stuff through the streets of downtown Mosinee in the 5K run/walk or 1-mile Puppy Trot. Awards are given to male and female 5K winners and runners-up from each age bracket, and all participants in the Puppy Trot receive ribbons. In addition, all those who register collect a free race t-shirt. Registration is $40 per person for the 5K and $30 per person for the Puppy Trot. Proceeds benefit Crossroads K9 Rescue.
The Paws on the Pavement 5K is set for Saturday, April 18 at 8 a.m. For comfy pet-friendly accommodations, travel 20 miles south to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Stevens Point.
9. The Great Pug Run 5K
Runners, walkers and breeds of all kinds are invited to throw down with the Pugs at The Great Pug Run 5K at Coldstream Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Racers will navigate a twisting cross-country course that weaves through the 225-acre park. Awards will be handed out to overall and age group winners. Free commemorative t-shirts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration costs $30 per person, and all money raised benefits the Bluegrass Pug Rescue.
The Great Pug Run 5K takes place on Saturday, April 4 at noon. Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington UK Coldstream offers spacious pet-friendly suites and is adjacent to Coldstream Park.
10. Lycoming County SPCA Paws Run
Team up with your cross-country canine to conquer the course at the Lycoming County SPCA Paws Run in Williamsport Community Park. Two- and four-legged duos can enter the 2.5-mile run, 2.5-mile walk or 5-mile run. Water stations and waste receptacles are positioned along the course. The top 5 combos in each chase will be awarded prizes, and all those who register receive a free t-shirt and a colorful doggy bandana (while supplies last). Registration prior to the race costs $25 per person and $30 per person on race day. Proceeds from the event will assist the Lycoming County SPCA.
The Lycoming County SPCA Paws Run will be held on Saturday, April 11 at 9 a.m. You and your hungry hound can cook a hearty post-race meal in a kitchen suite at the pet-friendly Candlewood Suites Williamsport.