Friday, February 22, 2019

Labradors Run NYC Race






  Sunday, March 17 is the NYC Half Marathon, a race that I have proclaimed as my favorite!  I am not writing this post to relive that experience yet again, I am writing to share with you that on this day LABRADOR RETRIEVERS will be running this race!





You may remember that I am a huge supporter of the organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Some of you donated to the 26.2 mile Wag-a-thon Baylee and I did last Spring (Thank you again).   I also shared a video of one of the guide dogs from Guiding Eyes (Gus), that ran the NYC 5K race ( The one that takes place before the Marathon) with his blind handler Tom.  During that time Guiding Eyes organizers were hoping to come up with a way they could have the Labs run a long distance race.

Thanks to special accommodations made by New York Road Runners, the Guiding Eyes team  have been training several guide dogs  to run as a relay team!  Each dog will run a portion of the course (about 3.1 miles) with their blind handler, Tom.  One dog will cross the finish line and earn the medal for the team. 



 Veterinarians and volunteers will be stationed along the course to provide check-ups and ensure the dogs' hydration, health and safety.  Each dog will set their own pace. I have been receiving updates on the labs' training and they are doing really well. Just like any runner, they are trying to mimic what it would be like on race day. They are trying to get them use to the course, the smells on the course, and even the spectators.  So far the weather in NYC has been a bit of a challenge.  If you follow me on IG @Fairytalesnfit I will be sharing training updates there.

This is the very first year these dogs will be running this race and I am so sorry that I won't be there to see it. I just know I would be running right beside them ( or as safe of a distance that I could), if I could keep up!

This is such a great thing that NYRR are allowing them to do!  I hope this race goes well for the dogs and handler so perhaps this can be a tradition and spectators will come out to show their support!

If you would like more information on the labs running the NYC Half Marathon or would like to donate to Guiding Eyes for the Blind (which provide guide dogs to the blind)  please go HERE.





21 comments:

  1. I just love this! It's amazing to me all the things that dogs can do. When I worked in the hospital, we had dog therapy for the patients and they just loved it! I know I would.

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  2. It will be interesting to see how this goes. I have to be frank here — I love the idea of it, but I have also done runs where dogs were running too. And sometimes it was incredibly annoying. Of course these were not guide dogs.

    And OTOH, I also applaud NYRR for being inclusive. I wonder the difference running with a guide dog vs a human guide?

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    1. In this case, the runners are blind so of course the dogs are trained to do a service and not disturb the other runners.

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  3. This is a great thing! I'm glad to hear there will be vets along the course to monitor the dogs' well being.

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    1. Yes, perhaps their aid stations is where they will "swap out" dogs too!

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  4. This absolutely warms my heart! What a great experience for not only the runners but the dogs as well. I hope that it all goes well.

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    1. Also I think it would be a great experience for the spectators and the non blind runners to see this!

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  5. This is so cool! I am confident it will go well and hope it becomes a regular thing. Dogs are awesome, and it's great NYRR is supporting this.

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  6. NYRR provided therapy dogs at the start area in central park the year I ran this race, so I assume they are really supportive of this type of stuff.

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  7. wow that sounds like such a cool organization! I love that idea

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  8. I'm excited to see this in action as I'm running for the 8th year in a row with Alexandra's Playground! It's one of my fave races, too, even with the killer new course.

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    1. I'm so excited for you. I do hope you catch a glimpse of the dogs!

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  9. WOW! That is really cool and such a great thing.

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  10. That's so exciting! I hope that becomes a regular thing as it opens up running to so many more people. When I lived in Maryland, I was part of a running group that had a blind runner in it. He ran with a partner, not a dog, but thank goodness he found a running partner who loved running with him. He did several races and enjoyed every single one! If he hadn't had a human running buddy, I don't know if he would have been able to run so many miles and races.

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  11. OK - the first thing that came to mind was "Isnt that too much for a dog?" - but glad to see its broken up & they will be monitored.
    A dog in a race would either help me or hurt me. It would make me run faster to catch up to a dog or slow me down because I want to pet it (I know you're not supposed to pet service animals - sue me) :)

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  12. What a fun race for a wonderful cause! I used to love to run with my dog Benji, but he is a senior citizen now and we are limited to walks. Should be a fun race for the runners and the dogs as well.

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  13. I would love to see guide dogs in a race! What a great cause.

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  14. Oh I love this so much! What a fantastic cause!

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  15. I like the idea - although maybe someday someone can let ostriches run in a race, too. (Just a 1K!) Seriously, I think if people take the right spirit with them, it'll be a smashing success.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.