Get Out: Leslie McCravy Memorial run for Pet Helpers emphasizes thoughtful exercise for dogs

David Quick – Wednesday, May 8, 2013

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Virginia Jones of Mount Pleasant walks her dog, Tucker, who carries drinking water.
  • Leslie McCravy’s love of animals is what inspired the proceeds for the run to be donated to Pet Helpers.
    ( Jessica Fryar )
    Leslie McCravy’s love of animals is what inspired the proceeds for the run to be donated to Pet Helpers.

I’ve never been a fan of people running with their dogs in 5Ks or, frankly, running any kind of long distances with them.

In my experience, I view dogs being more like sprinters than distance runners.

Run. Stop. Sniff. Trot. Chase. Repeat.

I have three dogs, and all have different athletic abilities.

My hound-mix rescue, Lucy, is an athlete. She loves to run. Unleashed and running, she is a work of art with the acceleration and graceful stride of a thoroughbred. Still, I won’t run her leashed for more than a mile or so.

My older Jack Russell rescue, Ozzie, is a sniffer. I might run him a few blocks, but he’ll still stop me five to 10 times.

My younger Jack rescue, Fiona, is short-legged, and she’s good for a block max.

All three get backyard playtime and are walked twice a day, with weekly trips to the beach or park, but get minimal nonstop, long-distance running.

Saturday’s Leslie McCravy Memorial 5K Run/Walk, a fundraiser for Pet Helpers, strikes a balance. The race has added a canine-friendly 1K walk/run (0.62 of a mile) so that dogs can participate, yet the safety issues and concerns about dogs overheating, which is another issue in itself, during a 5K aren’t an issue.

The fifth annual run is held in memory of James Island native Leslie McCravy, who was a victim of domestic violence in 2007. McCravy was a passionate animal lover.

Leigh Handal of Pet Helpers said exercise is essential for humans and their dogs and cited multiple sources for its benefits, which similar to humans, includes a healthy heart and bones (when not overexercised), improved mood and sleep, and stimulation from being outdoors.

Handal added that pet owners should check with the veterinarian before starting their dog on an exercise program and know the do’s and don’t’s of their specific kind of dog, such as breeds that have short or flat noses often have difficulty breathing.

Meanwhile, running or walking, or some combo of both, for a 1K shouldn’t be off limits to most dogs.

Late registration is $30 for adults and $20 for kids 14 and under for the 5K, with the 1K being $5 less than those fees.

lesliemccravyrun.com

Mom’s Run

On Mother’s Day weekend, what’s more appropriate than a run dedicated to the first important woman in most of our lives.

The 10th annual Mom’s Run will be at 8 a.m. Saturday, staged from Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. The event benefits Postpartum Support Charleston, formerly the Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation, a cause that helps women and their families suffering from postpartum depression in the Lowcountry and beyond.

A Family Fun Day immediately will follow the run. Participants can enjoy music, free food and plenty of children’s activities, including a jump castle, miniature golf, face-painting, crafts and games.

Family Fun Day lasts until noon and is free to registered race participants; a $10 donation per family is suggested for nonrace participants.

Registration is $30 for adults, $35 for stroller registration, and $20 for children 10 and under. Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant will host a packet pickup 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and will donate 10 percent of all sales that day to the Moms’ Run.

ppdsupport.org/moms-run

Race the Landing, No. 2

The second annual Race the Landing 5K series continues this evening at the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site in West Ashley.

Last week’s race, with a Southern Comfort theme, drew 257 runners and walkers to an event that features a full meal afterward. Tonight’s theme is Barbados. A kids run will start at 6:15 p.m. and a 5K at 7 p.m.

Future races will be held June 6 (Oktoberfest in June), June 13 (Colonial Night) and July 11 (All-American).

The fees are $25-$35, and money raised benefits the Friends of Charles Towne Landing and the park’s Animal Forest natural habitat zoo.

racethelanding.com

National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month and features several local and national events, such as the Ride of Silence at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hampton Park.

Bike to Work Day events, a collaboration between Charleston Moves and the Medical University of South Carolina, will be held 7-7:30 a.m. May 17 at Earth Fare and Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.

Charleston Moves will hold Battery2Beach route rides May 18, but the details had yet to be finalized by deadline. Check www.charlestonmoves.org for updates.