Dogs are welcome at parkrun too! Springer Spaniel Benson is an ever-present, ever-energetic presence at Sunnidale parkrun, so who better to walk(ies) us through Sunnidale’s first year of operations, and share his new favourite Saturday routine?
BOOWOWWOWOW. Greetings parkrun humans – Benson the Springer Spaniel here!
I have been regularly seen (and heard) at the Sunnidale Park on Saturday mornings to help out my Mum and Dad on the weekly, timed, 5km parkruns. I want to share with the world why Saturday mornings are my favouritest time of the week!
I get so excited when I see the parkrun boxes of equipment come out from the basement and into the car. That means another morning at the park! I follow them back and forth up and down the stairs, until it is time to sit and get my leash on. Oooh the selfie sign! Can’t forget the selfie sign! Time to go! Don’t forget me!
Top 4 reasons WHY it’s my favouritest day:
1. Walks/runs on a great course
While most humans will run this route, the event is dog-friendly. That means me! When Mum or Dad have the opportunity to run on the course, out comes the running lead. YAY! It’s a great trail with trees, flowers – plenty of places to sniff. There are even – SQUIRRELS! – to chase. In the summer, the tree-lined pathway is partially shaded and by the fall, the humans like to see the colours. We can’t wait for the spring!
2. High fives/high paws
No matter how fast a runner or walker, you get your share of cheering along the route. The humans start cheering with a “looking strong!” or a “you can do it”. I follow this with my own barking. I am the biggest cheerleader and “appawrently” can be heard quite clearly. Normally my Mum has a cowbell to cheer on the runners as they pass our checkpoint, but I can be counted on to woof my support too!
There are some days when I am given a job too! I have proudly been a tailwalker, where my own tail has been the last to cross the finish line. But normally I “help” dad with the set-up and give the volunteers some entertainment. That counts too right?
4. Meeting other dog pals
There have been a number of regular fur-pals that have joined their humans on their runs. There is Sadie, a rescue owned by regular volunteer scanner Sarah and popular frontrunner Padraic. She has been known to join her Dad running (who was First Finisher at one parkrun, even despite an unanticipated “poop stop” along the way!).
I have also met Rolo, who joined his Mum dressed up for the Hallowe’en parkrun special on the run. Little Poppy is also another favourite, as volunteer/cheerleader Becky brings her to “suppawt” the event. It becomes a regular doggie convention every week! Oh, and the humans often end up chatting post run, and even going for coffee (local Tim Horton’s – once in a while I will even get a Timbit – *happy ears*).
So for a fantastic morning, parkrun is special time outdoors, with friends, and with me! Join us! Bring your humans!”
By Benson Owens (transcribed by Soo Owens)
Sunnidale parkrun Event Directors Soo and Paul Owens have been managing the Sunnidale Parkrun since 29 Jun 2019. Throughout the summer and fall, the parkrun community has steadily expanded, and although the parkrun is on “paws” for the winter, interest continues to grow as many look forward to its continuation with the melting of the snow by end March 2020.
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