The second annual Barks and Belts K9 5K in Bergen Park this Sunday offers dogs and their companions a chance to get a good workout while benefiting two service organizations.
A fund-raiser for the Evergreen Animal Protective League and Drive Smart, the event includes music, treats and fun competition.
“We’ve added three contests,” said Cathleen Timmons of EAPL, who is helping to organize the event.
After completing the noncompetitive course, dogs can vie for awards in three categories: best trick, best treat catch and best lookalike, said Timmons.
The course begins at 9 a.m. at Chow Down Pet Supplies in Bergen Village and meanders through Bergen Park.
Post-race festivities in Bergen Village will include refreshments, food and pet-friendly merchandise and services. Among refreshments provided by vendors will be varieties of ice cream for humans and canines.
A beer garden and silent auction table are also part of the festivities. Items and goods offered for bid in the silent auction include a boarding facility/dog training gift certificate, driving school lessons and art.
Racing with decorum
“If your dog has never been involved in running a 5K with you before, please use this as a learning experience,” said Timmons.
During the 5K event, walkers, slower-paced runners and those with inexperienced dogs are asked to start in the rear of the pack.
All registered dogs will receive a poopy bag, which owners are also asked to use as needed and place in a receptacle. Bags also can be left at the side of the race course in the grass in an out-of-the-way but visible area. Volunteers will come by after the race to pick up and dispose of all bags.
Dogs participating in the event need to be on a regular leash. If using a retractable leash, it should be locked at a length of 4 to 6 feet for the duration of the race. All dogs must wear identification tags, be current on rabies vaccinations and at least six months of age. Female dogs in heat and canines who are fighters and biters are not permitted at the event.
A water station will be available at the midway point of the course for runners and their dogs, along with water at the end of the race. Participants are encouraged to bring sufficient water for themselves and their dogs.
How to register
Online registration for the event is available by credit card only at www.runningguru.com and closes at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 30.
To register in person, visit one of the following locations: Chow Down Pet Supplies, 1270 Bergen Parkway; EAPL Thrift Shop, 27888 Meadow Drive; Healthy Pet Supply, 25797 Conifer Road in Conifer.
Race packet pick-up is available at Chow Down Pet Supplies on Friday, May 31, from 3 to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, June 1, from 3 to 5 p.m.
The day of the race, registration and packet pick-up is from 7 to 8:45 a.m.
Racers will receive a race T-shirt, as well as a swag bag filled with items for them and their canine companions while supplies last. Race-day registration does not guarantee T-shirt or goodie bag availability.
In cooperation with Evergreen's Alliance for Sustainability, Barks and Belts is a zero-waste event. Recycle and compost cans will be available at the completion of the race. Compostable cups, plates and flatware courtesy of Green Apple Supply will be used at water stations and by vendors at the start and finish of the race.
Contact Sandy Barnes at email@example.com or call 303-350-1042.