FITNESS// Race Recap: Dog Jog – Heaton Park

It’s been just over a month now since I got married and since then I’ve continued eating and drinking in the same celebratory style, piling on a few extra pounds and sacking off my exercise plans. Then I came across a discount code for a 5k Dog Jog at Heaton Park in Manchester so I quickly signed up.

Over the last couple of years my little pal Dora has been a trusty training buddy, she’s accompanied me on many runs both on and off road and for a small dog she’s done remarkably well being able to run over 4 miles. We have a great bond anyway but Dora and I share a special bond when we go out for a run, it’s ‘us time’ and we make sure we have some fun either before or after the run and incorporate some play time.

The problem is; I then go off to do whatever event it is that we have been training for and Dora has to either stay at home or come and spectate so she’s never really recognised for her running ability. That was until yesterday when we took part in the Dog Jog.

The 5k fun run is a non-timed event and is completely centred on the dogs that take part. Runners can enter with more than too (if you’re brave enough!) and the participants are split into 3 groups at the beginning. Those who want to run/jog, those who want to jog/walk and those that want to walk.


Dora and I positioned ourselves is the middle of the run/jog section so that we didn’t get tangled up with too many leads and as ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ played out we were surrounded by 150 other very excitable and some rather barky canines. Then we were off….

If you have been running (or walking) around Heaton Park in Prestwich you will know how hilly it is, so the 5k route was very up and down so it did feel a bit tougher on the legs that our usual routes around Salford. There were a couple of water points (for the dogs) along the route and of course a run with Dora isn’t complete without a couple of toilet stops too.

The route was well signed posted and the marshals’ were a great help, pointing out the route at corners and they made themselves visible in a very busy park on a sunny weekend. Dora and I dodged the odd child on a bike and larger family groups meandering aimlessly along the pathways whilst we took in the sights of the whole of Heaton Park. It was a warm day and we kept a steady pace whilst having the odd conversation with our fellow Dog Joggers.

My wife and parents came to cheer us on too which gave us an added boost, especially when we climbed the hill of the last kilometre.  I’d told them that we would probably back in around 40 minutes, I wasn’t planning on ‘racing’ or pushing either of us, so when my Tom Tom recorded a time of 31:54 I was actually quite surprised.

The time was irrelevant though. This run was all about having fun, allowing Dora to run with so many different dogs was a fun experience and I was looking forward to seeing what was in her ‘doggy bag’ at the finish line.

We crossed the line and I was presented with my own medal and a finisher’s bag, we had a well-deserved drink before tucking in to see what was inside.

The best thing was Dora’s own medal. So it was only right to pose for a photo with our new silverware. Finally, she has the reward she deserves. Not to mention the new squeaky toy as well.

Dora slept all the way home before walking to the local pub with us for a celebratory pint….of water.

With the discount code I found online the race entry on cost £8 and for that price I’d definitely do it again next year! (And the medals were great quality too!)

Have you ever taken part in a Dog Jog? Or perhaps any other events where you can run with your furry friend?

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