Weekend races raise money to train service dogs

Weekend races raise money to train service dogs

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A mass of two- and four-legged racers ran through campus Saturday. The KSU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and the College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2010 hosted the 14th annual Dog-n-Jog 10K, 5K and 1.5K fun runs.

“It [was] a great day,” said Eliot Linsenmeyer, third-year veterinary student class president and race coordinator. “The weather held out well, it looks like everyone has gotten to have a great time and we’ve had a great turnout. It’s better than we expected, which is always wonderful.”

More than 200 people participated in the three events of the day. While some did not bring a four-legged friend to compete, others ran with three or four dogs.

The course began at Trotter Hall, went north toward Kimball Avenue and circled around through a barnyard area near Trotter, which allowed the dogs to see horses and cows, before turning south on Midcampus Drive.

Runners and dogs were encouraged to remain on the sidewalks and volunteers were at every intersection to stop traffic. There were three water stations spread along the course that had small plastic cups for the humans and a plastic pool filled with water to keep canines hydrated.

The course looped through main campus, circling the All Faiths Chapel and the K-State Student Union before turning onto Denison Avenue and heading north, back to Trotter Hall. Participants of the 10K had to run the course twice to reach the 6.2 mile length.

“This is my first [Dog-n-Jog],” said Megan John, a Manhattan resident who ran with her dog Tank, a purebred boxer. “I loved it because I run with Tank all the time, and he keeps me going.”

John said she and Tank usually run three or four times a week. Each time the pair go for a run, they log about four to five miles. John said Tank was so excited for the Dog-n-Jog, he pulled her the whole 10K.

Before and after the races, owners chatted among each other while dogs sniffed and played, getting to know each other. Dogs of all sizes and shapes were on hand for the event to run, jog or walk with their owners. There were small Daschunds running in the pack along-side large Huskies and even a Great Dane.

Proceeds from the event were split between the vet-med third-year class and the KSDS.

“We have to raise money to pay for our graduation, so some of the money goes to that, and the rest goes to KSDS to help them with their costs for training the service dogs,” said Amanda May, third-year veterinary student who volunteered at the event.

KSDS, Inc., is a non-profit organization that provides trained canine assistance dogs to individuals who are visually impaired or physically disabled.