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Dogs take part in charity 5K

September 3, 2018

Sprite is an energetic Italian greyhound who loves to run, making him a nice running partner for owner Kathy Kruckeberg, who is new to the sport.

Sunday, the duo participated in their third running event this summer: the Dog Days of Summer 5K at Franke Park. A post-race celebration featured food, live music and awards, including cash prizes for top finishers.

Bob Rohrman Subaru of Fort Wayne hosted the second annual event, which benefited Allen County SPCA and H.O.P.E. for Animals.

Although the heat affected Kruckeberg and Sprite’s performance : they walked more in the last lap : Kruckeberg, a first-time participant, plans to return next year.

Gene Davis of Subaru hopes hundreds more will join her. He wants to grow the event to 1,000 participants. It attracted about 100 runners and walkers this year, up from about 30 last year, he said.

The mostly hometown crowd included visitors from Chicago, Churubusco, Columbia City, Decatur, Indianapolis and Warsaw, among other cities, according to an online roster.

Nobody overheated, which was a concern, said Jessica Henry, Allen County SPCA executive director. Water was available along the route, she said, and dogs could also cool off in kiddie pools.

Temperatures were in the 80s on Sunday afternoon.

“Everybody had a great day,” Henry said.

Rochele Watson, who volunteers at Allen County SPCA, jogged with her best friend’s dog, Quinn. She referred to the Doberman shepherd mix as her puppy niece.

“I think we pushed each other,” Watson said.

The event was great for runners and dog lovers, she said, adding she is grateful companies like Subaru understand the importance of giving back to their communities.

“This was fun,” Watson said.

Davis, the Fort Wayne dealership’s general manager, acknowledged an act of kindness from a runner whose quick pace netted him $500: the runner donated the cash prize to Allen County SPCA.

“It really speaks to the community of animal lovers,” Davis said.

asloboda@jg.net

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