Kraut Run for dogs, too
Joe Hannon likes to run with dogs.
He first started running in college for fun and fitness, and found running makes him feel good.
Many decades later, Joe is still running, only now it’s with a golden retriever by his side. Not only does running help Joe (and his dog) feel emotionally healthy, but as a personal trainer, running helps keep Joe physically healthy.
Joe has run every Kraut Run since Fredericksburg Morning Rotary held the first 8K run in 2010, and he is already registered for the 10th Annual Kraut Run this Oct. 5.
There will be a lot of runners and walkers at this year’s event, as it has expanded over the years to include a 5K walk and 5K run, as well as a kid’s obstacle course.
There will be many other dogs, too, and the one who crosses the 8K finish line first will win a tasty dog bone.
Joe ran with his golden retriever, Duke, for the first eight years of Kraut Run.
Unfortunately, cancer took Duke’s life the summer of 2018, and Joe ran last year’s event without a four-legged companion.
As summer ebbed away, Joe and his wife, Peggy, really missed having a dog at home, so they contacted Yvonne Gerhardt at the City of Fredericksburg Animal Shelter and told her they were looking for a golden retriever to adopt.
At the time the Hannons called, there were no retrievers at the shelter, but several days later Yvonne called and said she had a retriever with a reddish gold coat.
Joe and Peggy soon went home with a young retriever they named Red.
Red was too young and unprepared to run in the 2018 Kraut Run; however, Joe has been training Red to run at his side and they will both be ready to run the 8K event this October.
Joe learned a lot about running with a dog over the last 10 years, so Kraut Run organizers asked for tips to give our athletes who plan to run with a dog.
Here are a few of them:
• Check your dog’s feet before and after a race.
Asphalt is harder on paws than most trails.
• Train your dog to keep to one side and use a short nonelastic leash.
This makes it much easier on you and other runners.
• Your dog will work hard to impress you, so take care to build up his endurance.
• A humid day is harder on your dog, as they do not sweat like humans.
• Start at the back of the group to give emotional and physical space for your dog.
Chip-timed races allow you to start at the back without affecting your race time.
•It’s better not to feed right before a race.
Just like humans, a full tummy can be trouble in a long run.
•Have water available for your dog after the race.
Kraut Run provides water for dogs at the race finish.
So why is it that Joe enjoys running with a four-legged friend?
Well, for one thing, he loves dogs — cats, too, although they stay home on race day.
The main reason Joe enjoys taking his dog running is its enjoyable for each of them.
Both humans and dogs need exercise and it’s fun to be outside.
Joe also has a chance to unwind while running, and he always has a running buddy no matter when he wants to run.
Kraut Run invites you to run with or without your dog, in either the 5K or 8K run, or the 5K walk.
Youth ages 4-10 may prefer the kids’ obstacle course, or can sign up as a walker or runner.
Whether you want to run with your dog, family, friends, or by yourself, the Kraut Run is a doggone good event which raises money for literacy programs and other Fredericksburg Morning Rotary projects like Books for Babies, Our Time To Enjoy Reading, Vocational Scholarships, Teacher Supply Closets and more.