Local runners, dogs turn out for early morning jog

The race raised money for the MU Veterinary Sciences class of 2012.
Gus licks her owner Andi Bartlebaugh's face Saturday morning in the College of Veterinary Sciences parking lot. This year's Dog Jog offered participants the option of bringing their own dog or borrowing an adoptable dog from the Columbia Humane Society.

Owners and dogs of all shapes and sizes came out early Saturday morning for the 17th Annual Dog Jog held by the Veterinary Sciences class of 2012.

Student organizer Lauren Delaney estimated at least 200 walkers and runners came to participate, with a pre-register count at 130 participants.

“Half of the proceeds will go to our class, the class of 2012," Delaney said. "The other half goes to the Central Missouri Humane Society."

MU students Naomi Turner, Heather Wise, Jessica Stroupe and Delaney were the four organizers for the jog. Delaney said she joined the organization team because she felt the need to do something to support the class.

“Running is something I enjoy, and my friends too, so we thought it was something we could contribute,” she said.

Volunteers from the vet school and some of the pre-vet undergraduates helped to run the event, Delaney said.

Many walkers and joggers came out with family and friends to support the cause.

“My older daughter goes to school with Beth,” Kim Sherman said. She was walking with her husband, other daughter and friend Beth Ahner. “We came down from Pennsylvania to go to the white coat ceremony.”

Sherman said the cause was another reason they decided to sign up.

“It’s good for people,” she said “It raises money for the vet school, and it’s something to do with your dogs. Good socialization for them too.”

First year veterinary student Jessica Milligan and her Great Dane, Miley, came for the 5K.

“She’s a great running partner,” Milligan said. “We do this kind of length pretty often. We like to get her out to socialize.”

Miley could be considered a more recognizable face in the crowd of dogs after she posed for two calendars this year.

“She’s a little celebrity,” Milligan said.

Along with bringing more awareness to the Humane Society, Milligan said she was looking forward to seeing classmates and teachers alike outside of the classroom and seeing the campus on foot.

“I’ve really been looking forward to this,” she said. “I like running and being able to see stuff from a foot perspective.”

After the race, Milligan said the couple made good time, at a little over half an hour.

“(Miley) was pulling me the whole time,” Milligan said. “She kept looking back and saying ‘Come on, Mom.’ She wanted to go faster. It was fun.”

Overall, Kevin Stone finished the 5K run first, with no dog. Following him was Jerry Scripture running with a one-year-old Fox Rat Terrier mix, named Todd, up for adoption at the Humane Society.

Next was James Cocayne running with Dexter, a year-and-a-half-old Puggle, then Kimberley Earnest with her four-and-a-half-year-old “Weimardor,” a mix between a Weimaraner and a Labrador.

The group of Jaqui and Tama Bloch and friend Amber Wright walking Tyler, the Golden-Shepherd mix, Bennet, a Golden Pit Bull and Caden the year-old Boxer mix, respectively, took the top three places of the walk, crossing the finish line simultaneously.

“It was very delightful,” Wright said. “A lot of fun, a great way to end finals.”

After everyone had crossed the finish line, raffles were held. Everything from gift certificates to pet food was given away, in addition to each participant getting a goodie bag.

“Some food was donated,” Delaney said. “Starting blocks, Tri-Athletes, ice cream from Sparky’s, Addison’s or Sophia’s, as well as The Candy Factory.”

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