LETHBRIDGE – Runners with two legs – and those with four – gathered in Softball Valley Sunday for the ninth annual Bare Bones Run for the Lethbridge and district humane society.
The run had three different skill levels, a five-kilometre, a nine-kilometre and a half marathon. Race director and vice president of the humane society, Tracey Ruschin, said this run is one of a kind.
“This is the only event right now in Lethbridge where you can actually run with your dog,” said Ruschin. “We have 120 dogs participating today and 330 runners.”
Tails were wagging as the participants took to the course, with all proceeds going back to the organization.
The humane society is a not-for-profit, no-kill animal shelter. Ruschin said caring for each animal they process through their facility can be quite expensive.
“Funds from events like this help us to spay and neuter cats and dogs,” she said. “Helps us with vet care costs, food costs, heating, housing them… basically everything under the sun.”
Lethbridge City Council member Ryan Parker was the first to cross the finish line in the five-kilometre race.
“It was a great run! It’s, first of all, a great cause: the humane society. Everyone loves dogs and cats and animals in general,” added Parker. “Anytime you can combine good exercise, a great day and help a good organization it’s just a win-win situation.”
Parker said everyone was having a great time meeting and weaving through the dogs.
“There was some fast dogs! But, there was some small Chihuahuas who, as most people know, have short little legs,” laughed Parker. “There was some big Doberman Pinschers here. There’s a great mix of dogs, just like people.”
Organizers said there were some familiar pups in the crowd along with the runners.
“Several of our dog participants today have been through our doors and the people, as they adopt them, we always encourage the event to them and to bring their dogs out. It’s really nice to see them out here,” said Ruschin.
The humane society is expecting to have raised over $8,000 from the run this year.