Cleveland Dog-Friendly 5Ks

In my early days of dog ownership, I dreamed of having a dog that would run with me. I figured it would be great motivation to keep me running (my relationship with fitness is precarious at best) and would be great exercise for my dog.

Flash to four years later and I can barely get my dog to walk around the block with me most days. Not that he is lazy, quite the opposite, he is just hard to get to focus and doesn’t understand that he is on a leash most of time on our walks. I’ve given up on my dreams of having a dog as a running partner, but that’s ok. Although I didn’t end up with the dog I envisioned, what I have is so much better it really doesn’t matter.

If you are one of those people who does have a dog that likes to run, you may want to check out these upcoming dog-friendly races. April is the unofficial start of the running season, so mark your calendars for these dog-friendly 5Ks. And, even if your dog doesn’t like to run, these races also include the option to walk as well.

April 3 – Siberian Husky 5k/1 Mile “Idid-a-Run”

Sponsored by the Siberian Husky Club of Greater Cleveland, this 5K and 1 mile race will take place at Edgewater Park April 3. Registration and packet pickup starts at 8 a.m. and the race kicks off at 9. There will be awards for the top runners, vendors, sled programs and post-race fun! Find out more here: http://www.hermescleveland.com/roadracing/events/siberianhusky.asp

April 24 – Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5k

This 5K plus dog walk is organized by Love-A-Stray animal rescue in Avon. Held on Sunday, April 24 at Avon Lake High School, the 5K also includes a group dog walk beginning at 11 a.m. as well as raffles and a pet fair. Find out more and sign up here: http://www.loveastraydog.com/events/fur-fun-5k-dog-walk/10830

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May 21 – Freedom Run 5K and 1.75 Mutt Strut

This race benefitting Freedom Greyhound Rescue of Aurora goes through Sunny Lake Park in Aurora and includes a 5K and a dog walk. There will be awards for the runners as well as the top 3 dogs in the Mutt Strut! Find out more information here: http://www.freedomgreyhoundrescue.org/run.html

The fun continues on Sunday at the Freedom Dog Fest and Adoption Fair. This event is held at the Tails & Trails Dog Park in Aurora from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the admission is free. There will be raffles, vendors, games and a greyhound fun run and a pet fashion show! The fashion show starts at 12:30 and will feature swimwear, evening/formal wear, sports attire as well as contests for prettiest eyes, best trick, best tail wager.

July 16 – Muddy Paws 5 and 10 miler

This scenic trail run and walk held on July 16 goes through the Cuyahoga National Valley Park. The trail race is 5 or 10 miles, and there is a 2 mile course for you and your dog!  A portion of the proceeds from the event benefit the Humane Society of Greater Akron. The 2 mile dog run starts at 7:30 a.m. and the other races start at 8 a.m. Find out more info here: https://www.westernreserveracing.com/events/muddy-paws-5-and-10-miler/

July 16 – Dirty Dog Run and Dog Wash, Avon

No details up yet, but it’s marked for July 16 on the Hermes Race calendar. Stay tuned!

I’ve only listed the upcoming 5Ks that are specifically dog-focused. Most of the 5K races organized by Hermes Cleveland are dog friendly though, so take a look at that calendar if you’re looking for more runs: http://www.hermescleveland.com/roadracing/default.asp