You might be wondering what a virtual race is. A virtual race is set up so that participants can complete the race from anywhere in the world, on any terrain, with any company they choose, at any pace (walking, running, jogging, hiking, wheelchair, or handcycling). We mail you your race packet which contains everything you need, you complete the 5k anytime between 3/7/20-3/15/20 and then email us your results & photos. Sound fun enough? If you're already convinced about the brilliance of this idea, click here for registration.
To be honest, the first time I heard about a virtual 5k I was not a supporter of it and I just didn’t understand the draw. I mean, why would I sign-up for a 5k event to complete alone and then email my results to the race organizer? The list of questions inside my head grew as I speculated the motive behind individuals creating these events and participants registering for these events.
Then, one day, I started thinking about how we (Dogs Who Jog and Pacific Hound) could partner together to attempt to change negative perceptions of virtual races and bring awareness to the benefits of a virtual race. Rather than challenging the reasons a virtual race shouldn't work, I started thinking about the reasons it should work.
Here are the top 5 reasons why I stand behind our Take a Jog & Save a Dog Virtual 5k:
For the last 6 years, I have been holding a dog leash in my hand when running with dogs. This also usually involves managing to hold a car key, poop bags, and my phone (I always run with my phone when running with pups in case of emergencies). Of course the winter months are easier because I wear jackets or vests with pockets when running - but, it has been an extra challenge during the summer months.
This photo above was taken while holding a leash in my hand!
I was always hesitant to try a leash system where the leash wrapped around my waist. Most of the dogs I run with love to pull (including my own two pups) so I worried that I would have less control over the leash, resulting in a potential fall.
I was wrong.
Pacific Hound created a hands-free leash which has exceeded my expectations (this really shouldn't be a surprise considering that Pacific Hound's owner & founder has years of experience running with her own dogs).
Not only have I put this hands-free leash system to the test with my own dogs and Dogs Who Jog clients, I have also put this system to the test when volunteering at the Humane Society of Macomb.
'Here is what I love about this leash:
1. It is the perfect length! A lot of other waist leash systems are shorter in length. Pacific Hound created a system which is just over 4 feet in length. This isn't too short to where you feel like you might trip over your dog and isn't too long to where you wouldn't be able to pull your dog close to you quickly.
2. The waist strap can rotate around your waist. This was an important feature for me. I run with dogs who zig-zag and who might go behind me to switch to the other side of the path when they see a squirrel. I was worried that this would be another reason that a leash around my waist would cause me to fall. Since it rotates around my waist, I can easily position and rotate the leash system when the pup changes sides.
3. The waist strap is adjustable. I have been able to allow others to use my waist leash system very easily because of the adjustable waist strap.
4. It actually gives me more leverage when a dog starts to pull towards that bunny or squirrel! When I would hold the leash in my hand, I would often need to place both of my hands on the leash when a running pup saw something that he/she wanted to pull towards. Since using this leash system, I only need to have one hand on the leash to give myself more leverage when the pup pulls towards that bunny, squirrel, bike that he/she really, really, really wants! It has been a total game changer!
5. The lobster clasps! I learned what a lobster clasp was and appreciate Pacific Hound's thoughtfulness that they put into their products even more! The bottom left photo is a typical clasp that is found on dog leash. You know how those clasps eventually become jammed and break? Well, Pacific Hound's thoughtfulness and mission to make durable products includes the easy-to-use and much more reliable clasp, the lobster clasp (bottom right photo).
If you're looking for a reliable new leash for your runs, hikes, walks, and adventures: check out Pacific Hound's new Hands Free Venture Lead.
A few weeks into beginning my volunteer running with dogs at the Humane Society of Macomb, I met Nick. Nick instantly fell in love with running, and I of course, instantly fell in love with Nick.
This is Nick's story:
We are surrounded by articles, news, social media accounts, and blogs that share the benefits of healthy lifestyles and exercise for humans. Trends of the next new, latest and greatest exercise and diets are always evolving with individuals ready to test them as they look for new additions and changes to connect to a healthy lifestyle.
While society has come to accept the benefits that exercise extends to humans, this brings a question to all of us dog owners: are there benefits to exercise for our dogs?