A Goldendoodle named Dozer could not resist the urge to join thousands of runners in Maryland’s Half Marathon last weekend as they passed by his home. The dog crossed the finish line in a respectable 2 hours and 14 minutes.
Animal Planet’s The Daily Treat reported on Dozer’s late entry into the race. The very fit 3-year-old dog apparently got caught up in the excitement of the half marathon which benefits the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center as runners sped past his backyard.
He broke through his invisible fence and joined the group at the five mile mark.
Runners reported spotting Dozer at various locations along the course, but few knew he was determined to complete the race or that he was running without his owners. He even learned to stop at the rest areas to lap water from cups that were provided for the racers.
When Dozer finally crossed the finish line in 860th place out of 1662 participants, he was met with cheers from his fellow runners.
That’s when people began to notice Dozer had run the race solo. He was reunited with his family the next day and made a “precautionary” trip to the veterinarian’s office.
After receiving a clean bill of health, race organizers gave Dozer a medal for his participation and now he has his own runner’s page on the Maryland Half Marathon website.
“This is a very sweet dog,” said University of Maryland Medical Center spokeswoman Karen Warmkessel to ESPN. “When I saw him today, he looked great. He was really active, and now he’s raising money for cancer research.”
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