It’s undoubtedly true, dogs bring a lot of joy to our lives. From cuddles on the couch (and in our bed) to the funny photos we capture (and show to allllll of our friends) – our fur babies are just as much part of the family as anyone else. If you’re a bit like us, you might even agree bringing a dog into your life has encouraged you to get active and breathe in the fresh air of the outdoors just that little bit more. From the humble stroll around the block to long beaches, rocky bush walks and rough terrain – our dogs and us alike, love it all. So when the team here at Dog Friendly New Zealand heard news of a dog friendly running event, the #fitspos (and our pups) among us, were jumping for joy.
If you’re a keen runner and love nothing more than putting the old lungs through their paces, our country’s jam-packed running calendar for 2021 is exciting enough. But if you’re a paw-rent and share the love of pounding the ground at quick fast paces with your pup, then you’ll love the 4 Paws Marathon.
Finally, a chance to run with your best friend! The 4 Paws Marathon is an off road walking/running event set in the beautifully serene Bottle Lake Forest and beaches of our Garden City, Christchurch. With a soft underfoot terrain composed of pine forest trails, beaches, dirt track and sand trails, this completely off road event featuring spectacular scenery is the ultimate expression of freedom that is sure to invigorate and refresh not only yours, but your pups’ senses too.
Curated from humble beginnings, the 4 Paws Marathon is a dream inspired by a passionate Sport & Exercise Doctor who loves running with his dogs. An event encompassing and celebrating the idea ‘exercise is medicine’, as well as a salute to our best four-legged friend and loyal exercise ally, the 4 Paws Marathon brings together a community of like-minded individuals who simply enjoy experiencing nature with their pup.
Now if the name doesn’t give it away already, the 4 Paws Marathon is indeed a marathon. A full 42.2km course covering the 1000 hectare pine forest, Spencer Park Beach and New Brighton Beach with compulsory vet checks along the way, just to make sure your pup can continue the course safely. But if the thought of running a full marathon sounds like your idea of the worst way to spend a Sunday, the 4 Paws Marathon also offers other distances including a half marathon, 15km, 10km, 5km and 2.4km for ‘the little ones’.
You don’t even have to run either! Walking is totally acceptable, even encouraged as 4 Paws is designed to cater for all levels of fitness, humans and pups included. As long as you’re getting outdoors amongst the fresh air with your dog, the team behind 4 Paws have successfully done what they set out to do.
If you’re a Christchurch local and think the 4 Paws Marathon sounds like a bit of you, only you don’t own a dog, don’t worry! This running event allows anyone to participate, with a dog or without. And if you don’t want to get active, you can still get amongst the action and volunteer. With jobs up for grabs ranging from helping with aid stations to medical and veterinary support, anyone can well and truly get involved!
A tribute to our dogs who keep us active, the 4 Paws Marathon wholesomely celebrates runners and their dogs who love exercising in our great New Zealand backyard. A safe and enjoyable experience that’ll even earn you a medal at the finish line, 4 Paws will be back for its next event on Sunday 19th September, 2021.
With plenty of time to get outdoors and get training, you and your furry friend really have no excuse to not get involved! So what are you waiting for? Head to the 4 Paws website and grab your entry ticket here.
For more information including entry requirements for both you and your pup, check out 4 Paws Marathon. We’ll see you on race day!