You are brainstorming ways to make your next charity 5K memorable and suddenly it hits you: host a dog friendly 5K race. Is this a genius idea leading to a fun-filled day for all? Or is it chaos just waiting to break loose?
SpectaSport has over 10 years of race organizing experience and we’ve seen our share of pet friendly races. We even have a dog friendly race coming up in October! Here’s a few expert tips to help your day go smoothly:
5 Keys to a Successful Dog Friendly Event
1. The Key to A Healthy, Happy Day
Everyone loves their pets, but not all pets love other people. To keep every person and pet safe, it is important to ask that only well socialized dogs who get along with all ages and animals participate. The size of the crowd can be overwhelming for some dogs. This means that it is critical for pet-owners to consider how their dog behaves under stress. Anxious and irritable dogs should be removed immediately. All dogs should be up to date on vaccines and kept on short leashes. Retractable leashes are banned from 5K races due to the risk they pose to runners.
2. The Clean Up Plan
Let’s face it, lots of dogs means lots of clean up. It should be the responsibility of the owner to pick up after their dog. You can be a great host by providing small waste bags, clear disposal instructions, and placing trash cans along the route. These should include stations for runners to pick up new bags as they go.
3. Dog Friendly Logistics
Along with waste disposal, there’s a few other logistical concerns. Race organizers always include hydration stations for people, make sure to have one’s for the dogs too! If it’s hot outside, these dogs are going to need a place to drink water, cool off, and refuel.
4. Special Insurance
Normal avenues for race insurance typically don’t cover dogs, so they have to obtain their event insurance elsewhere. Often, dog-friendly races are hosted by animal-related charities, and are able to get insurance through their normal business insurance channels.
5. Make it Fun!
This is a great opportunity to be creative. You could seek out pet store, pet toy, or pet food sponsors. You can even have a “Top Dog” prize!
SpectaSport has Experience Overseeing Dog Friendly 5K Races
SpectaSport provides race timing and race management services. Complete our online form or call (610) 306-0574 to begin working with us.