Monthly Archives: June 2013

Racing Etiquette

As June 29th approaches, the staff members at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital are getting more and more excited about the upcoming Paws and Claws 5K event. Whether you are running, walking or cheering in Baker Park (Frederick, Maryland) that day, we want it to be a fun experience for everyone. We will have both safety and etiquette suggestions to help with this. Here are the racing etiquette guidelines we want to share.  Happy racing!

 Racing etiquette for 2-legged participants: (sited from Road Runners Club of America)

 ·      Follow the rules of the race! – Generally, headphones, cell phones, and jogging strollers are discouraged. Dogs usually fall into this category as well, but not this one!!:)

·      Come early and come prepared. This is a shorter race compared to half and full marathons, but using the facilities beforehand is never a bad idea. Have your identifying information with you or on (like racing numbers or whatever the specific event may have to show that you are a participant of the Paws and Claws 5K).

·      Line up according to how fast you plan to walk or run the event.  Slower runners or walkers should move to the back of the race pack. Runners and walkers with dogs who are also participating should line up here as well, not only because they can be a trip hazard, but because some people may be afraid of dogs and would rather not be too close. As the group thins out and some start to fall behind, then you can move up

·      Pay attention to pre-race instructions. You should not be chatting on your phone or listening to your music now! And those items should be in your car anyway! 🙂 A map of the course can be found on-line at the Frederick Animal Welfare League website so you have an idea where you are going.

·      If you drop something during the race, it’s better to wait to pick it up after almost everyone has passed.

·      In late June, the participants most likely won’t be wearing lots of layers! But if you have an item of clothing that you want to shed as you warm up, tie it around your waist instead of dropping it on the side of the road where it can become a trip hazard.

·      Do not block runners coming up behind you by swerving needlessly back and forth across the course.

·      Run or walk no more than two abreast. If you are walking in a group, stay to the back of the pack and follow the two abreast rule.

·      Bodily functions are a fact of life during a race. If you need to spit, blow your nose or throw-up, move to the side of the road and do it there.  If nature calls, check for a port-a-potty, an open business, or maybe even a kind neighbor along the course.

·      Move to the side if someone behind you says, “excuse me” or “on you’re left/right”.  They are giving you a heads up that they are attempting to pass and it is proper race etiquette to allow them to do so without impeding their progress.

·      If you need to stop for any reason (tie your shoe, blow your nose, etc.) move off of the course completely to do so.

·      The course may not be closed to traffic in some areas, if at all. It is important to PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings! It is your responsibility to watch for oncoming traffic!

·      If aid stations are available, approach them on the right, grab your fluid from the volunteers or off the table and keep moving forward away from the station.

·      If you have to stop at the station, make sure to move off to the side so that you are not blocking the race or any progress to the station itself.

·      Throw your cup down at your waist level and off to the right- close to an aid station when possible.

·      Say thank you to any volunteers helping out!

·      If you see a participant in distress, try to report it to a race volunteer with a description of the person and location if possible.

·      Follow the instructions of the race officials at the finish.

·      Stay around to cheer on the other participants and winners’ ceremony.

·      Enjoy your race and be proud of your accomplishment!! 

Racing etiquette for four-legged participants: (sited from Race Etiquette: Pooch to 5K)

 ·      Start your walk/run at the back of the group and move up as the group begins to thin out. Make sure to keep your dog away from other runners, not only to prevent a tripping hazard, but some people may actually be afraid of our canine companions and would rather not be too close.

·      If there are drink stops, pull over either before or after instead of stopping right at the table. This will allow you to get a drink for both you and your dog without blocking race flow to the aid station.

·      If it looks like your dog needs to poop or pee, then move to the side of the road and off the coarse to do so.  Be sure to pick up after them and dispose your bag in the nearest trashcan.

·      Enjoy your race with your dog and go at their pace!  Be proud of both of your accomplishments!

This is the first year for this event.  While typically volunteers work these events, there is always a race director or committee overseeing the race to assure that everyone is safe and enjoys the experience.  If you have any ideas or concerns about the day please be sure to share your thoughts in a positive and productive way.

 Can’t wait to see you there!

Cheer Us On!

Hopefully, by now you’ve already signed up for the Paws and Claws 5k. It is being held in Baker Park in Frederick Maryland on June 29th. We are very excited that race day is getting closer and closer. For a couple of our staff members, this will not only be their very first time running a 5k, but also their first time running any race. Over the last 2 months, we’ve worked hard and trained hard to prepare for the big day. And now that it’s almost here, we realize that we’re going to need your help! Even if you’re not planning to participate in the run or walk, we would love to see you there cheering us on. Seeing all of our happy clients as we run by will surely give us motivation to keep going. All of our veterinary staff will be at the event so we need lots of cheerleaders. If you see a member of the KAH team- cheer loud to give us the inspiration to run faster!
And we would LOVE to see your best sign with a message of encouragement or humor to keep us going! Choose your favorite KAH team member and make a sign to cheer them on. There is nothing better than seeing your name on a sign and hearing cheers when you are ready to quit. Let’s see who can make the funniest most creative sign! Remember to stop by the Kingsbrook Animal Hospital table after the event so we can get a picture and thank you for your support.

We look forward to seeing you all at the start and finish lines (and anywhere in between).

See you there!

Crosstraining

Many of us here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital have been training hard for AWL’s upcoming Paws and Claws 5k. While running is an essential part of training for any race, there are other things that we can do to help prepare. Cross training is defined as any activity other than the one an athlete plans to compete in that helps to improve performance. Plus, while running with your dog can be fun, adding other activities will prevent boredom and keep you and your dog motivated.

Swimming

Swimming is an excellent way to get a good work out. It is easier on the joints of both humans and pets then running. Many dogs enjoy swimming, but keep in mind not all dogs know how to swim. Some breeds, like basset hounds, bulldogs and pugs do not have a body confirmation that predisposes them to excel in the water. Some dogs need to be taught how to swim. Never leave a dog unattended around water. And, as always, provide fresh water at all times.

Hiking

Hiking can be a lot of fun, especially with our furry friends. We are fortunate that the Frederick Maryland area has many places to go for a hike.  Sugarloaf Mountain, Gambrill State Park, Cunningham Falls State Park, Greenbrier State Park, Gathland State Park, and the Appalachian Trail are just a few.  Remember to check with each park for any dog related rules before setting out on your adventure.

Frisbee/Fetch

Playing fetch or Frisbee with your dog is great exercise for him.  It allows him to run and play. Again, always provide plenty of water and watch for signs that your dog may need to take a rest.  Consider the temperature and limit play during very hot times of the day.

Dog Parks

Dog parks can be great fun for dogs and allows the space for off leash exercise.  It allows them to run in a fenced area while providing them with the opportunity for socialization. Before taking your dog to any dog park, it is important to check with your veterinarian that your dog is current on all vaccinations (including bordetella).  They have the chance to be nose to nose with a variety of other dogs whose vaccine history is unknown. Also, never leave your pet unattended.

               

Warm Weather Exercise Safety

Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital we think it’s really important to practice warm weather safety when walking and running with your furry friend.  With many of us training for the upcoming Paws and Claws 5k in Frederick Maryland, we have been more active with our pets. As the temperature rises, there are a few things to consider as a pet owner…

First of all, AVOID DEHYDRATION!  The human body can lose up to 12 oz. of fluid for every 20 minutes of running, so be sure to drink fluids every 20-30 minutes while on a running route.  Every dog is different and has different needs when it comes to hydration, but keep in mind that darker coats (i.e. black and brown) absorb more heat and dogs that are overweight are at a higher risk for dehydration.   Make sure to carry a water bottle for your dog, or even better, have your furry buddy carry his or her own water in a vest or back pack.  The water bottles will keep them cooler and the pack will give them a sense of purpose.

Avoid running outside if the heat is above 98.6 degrees and the humidity is above 70-80%.   The human body can quickly overheat if the humidity is so high that it prevents the process of evaporation of sweat from the skin.   Dogs don’t sweat like we do; they dissipate heat via panting and through their paws.  If your buddy starts to excessively pant, slow down and be sure to provide access to clean water as soon as possible.

It’s a great idea to exercise your pooch early in the morning or at night, but if this isn’t possible, try to run in the shade and avoid direct sunlight and blacktop.  Wear light-colored, breathable clothing and at least SPF 15 sunscreen when involved in any outdoor exercise.  Heat rises from the ground, especially on surfaces like cement and asphalt. Dogs absorb and release heat through their feet so be conscientious of the terrain you and your dog choose to run.

Of course, if you have any concerns about your pet, don’t hesitate to call to one of the veterinarians at KAH. J