Remember the dog named Dozer who ran the Maryland Half Marathon last year by accident. For those unfamiliar with the story Dozer lives along the running route of the Half Marathon that helps raise money for the University of Maryland’s Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. The night before the race last year it was rainy and the electric fence around Dozer’s house went out. His family had no idea and when they left him in the yard to hang out while they ran some errands the runner’s happened to go by and well what friendly dog could pass up the chance to make that many new friends. Obviously it was too enticing for Dozer who decided to start to run with his new friends.
After putting together all of the stories about the dog running with the participants along the way race organizers and his owner know that not only did he run the last miles of the race but that he kept running back and forth to meet even more new friends. Along the way he found puddles from the rain the night before and soaked his paws and accepted cups of water from nice people along the way who were handing them out to the runners. Eventually Dozer found a group of people and crossed the finish line with them and then hung out at the event there for a while. See no one knew that Dozer wasn’t supposed to be running with them. They all thought that he was with one of the other runners and since he was a friendly dog minding his manners no one thought to report the dog in the middle of the race.
Dozer found his way home the next day tired, paws in pain, but aside from some aches and a need for IV hydration he just needed some sleep at home. He did get some sleep that first day home as event organizers pieced together the incredible story. Once they realized just how much of the race Dozer ran and all of the friends he made along the way they decided that if he could help raise money for cancer research that they would award him with a medal for finishing the race. Not only did Dozer’s story go viral but he was able to raise $25,000
Dozer at the finish line last year
Dozer hasn’t gotten much rest since his big race last year. Everyone wants an interview with him and runners from around the world have invited him to come out and run big races with them. Everything from the Boston Marathon to the NYC marathon to events in other countries. The truth is it is against the rules for many races for a dog to compete. For good reason without proper training and care they could badly injure their paws running such a long distance and lets face it the start of the race is probably not a safe place for a dog to be.
Event coordinators for the Maryland Half Marathon after careful deliberation have decided that Dozer will need to sit this race out. He will however be at the start of the race to encourage the runners then he will meet back up with them at the start of Dozer’s Dash and then it is off to his own special Press Tent where he will have a meet and greet. The tent is to be called Dozer’s dog house. Since he will have a special role in the race as the official / unofficial mascot he is once again helping to raise money for the event.
Dozer’s Dash is an 8-mile race-within-a-race. Only the half marathoners can participate. Runners will get a split time at the start of Dozer’s Dash, which is five miles into the half marathon. It’s where Dozer joined the fun last year. The male and female runners with the lowest time for the Dozer’s Dash leg of the Maryland Half Marathon will be named Top Dog.
http://www.ummsfoundation.org/dozer. Anyone who donates at least $50 to my page will receive a plush stuffed Dozer toy that looks a lot like me as well as a signed pawtograph.