Evergreen runner Brandy Erholtz and Ches-e, her Labrador mix, were the first to cross the finish line at the second annual Barks and Belts K9 5K in Bergen Park on Saturday.
“It was nice to support a local event,” she said.
Terry Peart and her three basset hounds also were supporting the event in a more leisurely manner. While other participants were finishing the course along Bergen Parkway, Newsome and dogs Charlie, Gracie and Lilly were taking a nice, long break in a grassy field.
“My husband laughed at me when I said we were going to do this,” Peart said, as the bassets drank water and rested in the sun.
Dogs and their owners began the course to the lively beat of reggae music playing in the Bergen Village parking lot. Wearing colorful yellow bandanas, the dogs headed around the first bend, with volunteers waving pom-poms to cheer them onward.
Greg and Suzanne Kapulka and canine companions Brandi and Koda were among approximately 100 contestants in the event, which included canines of widely varying breeds and sizes.
A postal worker, Greg said that he also planned to take his time.
“I race at the post office,” he said.
Also participating in the event were several young families pushing babies in strollers, and a couple of mothers-to-be.
Evergreen resident Kristine Gewin competed in the event for the second time with her dog Addie, who was sporting a running skirt.
While the human and canine contestants were en route, volunteers with the Evergreen Animal Protective League and Drive Smart were offering information, and pets for adoption. The event is a fund-raiser for the two organizations.
EAPL volunteer Beverly Endsley was showing a youngster one of six rabbits that needed a home. The bunnies are litter-box trained and can be adopted in pairs, she explained.
“We need donations,” said Endsley.
The cost of spaying and neutering the rabbits is not included in the $40 adoption fee, she said.
At the Woof and Boots booth, Logan the bulldog was raising money in a more creative way. He was offering kisses for $1.
Contact Sandy Barnes at email@example.com or call 303-350-1042.