‘Barks and Rec’ going to the dogs with weekend event

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The first-annual Barks and Rec will see all sorts of furry legs cross finish lines on Saturday.

The fundraiser will feature 5K and 3K runs with dogs and a Dachshund Derby, each will occur at Riney-B Park.

The festivities will include: “The Fast and the Furriest” fun run, the Dachshund Derby Weiner Dog Races, a petting zoo, pony rides, a tent for Tips for the Trainers, make and take dog toy crafts, a prize wheel, basket raffle and the Pooch Plunge at the Pool.

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John Howard, deputy director of Jessamine County Parks and Recreation, collaborated with the Jessamine County Animal Care and Control, which has sponsored a 5K before, to decide the new location of the races at Riney-B Park.

“We decided to expand the 5K to other things,” Howard said. “The purpose of the event is to benefit the animals of Jessamine County. So it’s a fundraiser, and there are are a lot of organizations that are helping conduct the event and donating proceeds.”

All runners will receive a T-shirt, numbers and other information on the day of the race.

The only events that require a registration fee are the 5K race and the 3K fun/run walk, Howard said.

“I anticipate that there will be a lot of dog-lovers there,” he said. “It’s going to be a unique event for Jessamine County because it is an event that is for the dogs.”

The winners of the Dachshund Derby Weiner Dog Race will receive trophies.

“We just want to make it a fun day for everyone,” Howard said. “It’s going to be a community event. The Dachshund Derby is going to be an entertaining event to see them run. We hope to have a good turnout.”

While the YMCA typically closes the pool after Labor Day, it will continue to be maintained until after the pooch plunge. Lifeguards also will be on hand.

The Pooch Plunge, like the one done in Lexington, is not a contest, Howard said. It is an opportunity for dogs to swim in the pool.

“There are no fees to do these things,” Howard said. “However, we will have donation jars set up throughout the venue so that people can make donations. We have a lot of sponsors that have already contributed. So we feel good about that in so far as the contributions.”

“What I tell people is we are going to the dogs on that particular day,” Howard said. “We have had a lot of response from people outside the community who are eager to come to the event because there are a lot of dog-lovers out there. We anticipate that it is going to be an annual event and we hope it’s going to be bigger and better every year.”

The festivities will be Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Riney-B Park.

Late registration from now to race day is $30. The 3K Fun Run/Walk, dogs included, is $15.