Dogs make great running partners. Even small dogs can do it!
Every dog, no matter the size, should get an OK from their vet before they take up running and, just like people, they have to start slow and work their way up to prevent injury. You might be surprised how far they can go though. My miniature Dachshund Chester used to run regularly with me and he could go 5 – 7 miles, depending on the terrain and how fast we ran. Check out this little Doxie TRUMan. He runs marathons! [results not typical 🙂 ]
If you’re new to running, or just getting back to it from an extended break, a 5k (3.1 miles) is a good goal. Your dog can help you get there. They’ll help you get out the door when your motivation is low and they can help keep you going when you feel like stopping.
If you’re going to train for a race with your dog, why not run the race with them too? I knew of a couple runs in the Seattle area that were dog friendly but I decided to see if I could find more. Five hours, and over 40 runs later, I poked my head out of the rabbit hole. Whew! Researching dog-friendly runs felt like a marathon it itself! I had no idea there were so many races in Western Washington that allow dogs.
I thought I would save you the same trouble and list all of the races in and around Seattle that I found.
First, a few important notes and reminders:
- All of the races listed say they are dog friendly on their website. You should be safe just showing up at any of these events with your dog. However, as with “dog friendly” restaurants, rules can change. I can’t control if they change the rules so please don’t sue me or beat me up if they do. If you want to double check as it gets closer to race day, the FAQ page is usually the best place to start.
- Be aware that while running a race is a special bonding experience, it may also prohibit you from enjoying the event to it’s fullest. Some events have a festival or beer garden after and dogs may or may not be allowed inside. If it was noted on the website that they are not, I included that detail. Just keep in mind that not all of the races may have listed that information.
- Please remember that these events are really busy and crowded. Don’t bring your dog if they are very fearful, not ok around crowds of stomping feet, or not ok with strangers petting them. Neither you nor your pup will have a good time.
- Every race I researched requires that your dog be on a 6 ft leash, maximum, and that you clean up after your dog. That’s right… be prepared to carry those poop bags to the next trash can. All dog friendly races stated that owners are responsible for the well-being and safety of their dog(s) at all times.
- Most races I researched asked that runners with dogs begin toward the back of the starting-line crowd. The rules didn’t say that you had to STAY in the back once you got running though. Be prepared that you and your dog might be passing and weaving in and out of people most of the race.
- While not every event listed these, other common rules for bringing your dog to races are: All dogs should be current on vaccinations ; No female dogs in heat; No dogs under six months of age, No aggressive dogs; and No more than two dogs per person.
- Some of the events listed are runs, some are walks, and almost all let you choose whether you want to run or walk.
- A lot of them are fundraisers so you’ll be doing some good while getting your and your pooch’s blood pumping. I didn’t list the charities benefiting here. Please check the website listed for that information.
- I listed 2016 dates when possible. Some events haven’t published their 2016 dates yet so I listed the 2015 date. I did this so you would know approximately what date of the month the event is being held. Please check the website listed for accurate dates.
Dog Friendly Races in the Seattle Area
Magnuson Series – MLK Weekend 5k, 10k & 15k
January 13, 2018
Magnuson Series – President’s Day 5k, 10k & 15k
February 17, 2018
Shamrock Run 5k
March 17, 2018
People and pets dress up for this run. Now you can even officially sign your dog up! Add them on to your registration for $15 and your furry friend will get their very own bandana and collapsible water bowl. In addition, the Kirkland Shamrock Run will donate $1 to the non-profit Canine Companions for Independence.
Friendship Run 5k & 10k
March 25, 2018
Magnuson Series – Spring Into Action 5k, 10k & 15k
March 24, 2018
Beat the Bunny 5k
March 19, 2016 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
White Center 5k Walk and Run
March 26, 2016 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
White Center, WA
Birch Bay Road Race 5k & 15k
April 7, 2018
Birch Bay, WA
Strollers and dogs allowed on 5k and 15k only – not the 30k
Get Up and Go 5k
April 9, 2016 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Lake Forest Park, WA
Run in your Pajamas! Please make sure your furry friend plays well with others and stays in the back of the group, in the last wave. Leashes and clean-up are required at all times.
Magnuson Series – Earth Day 5k & 10k
April 21, 2018
Blooming Color Run 5k
April 16, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
In this 5k fun run, participants get “painted” with colored powder at multiple course locations. The photos show it being sprayed on people as they run by. Make sure your dog is prepared for that or avoid the paint if you can.
Seahawks 5k & 12k
April 15, 2018
There will be a crap-load of Seahawks costumes at this race. Costumes are not required though.
Muddy Mutt Obstacle “Run”
May 2018 (exact date not announced yet)
It’s not really a run. Or it could be. It’s the only obstacle “race” you can do with your dog. The Muddy Mutt is an ALL-INCLUSIVE event. All sizes, shapes, ages, energy, and fitness levels of dogs (and humans!) welcome. You can stroll, walk, or run around the course going through the obstacles of your choice, or simply hang out on the course to watch the fun and visit with other Muddy Mutt-ers. YOU decide what you want to do and when! All obstacles and mud are optional.
Fiesta 5k Ole!
May 2, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA
There is a taco truck at the end. Whoo-hoo. There is a beer garden but the website says dogs are not allowed in that area. I’m not even 100% sure the taco trucks will be accessible to people with dogs. Bring a snack just in case so you don’t get hangry.
Free Them 5k
May 9, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
West Seattle 5k
May 20, 2018
Petapalooza Dog Trot 3k, 5k & Fun Run
May 19, 2018
Old Dog Haven FUN 5k
May 21, 2016 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
This run/walk is on a flat-course along the waterfront to benefit Old Dog Haven. Please note that this is an UNOFFICIAL run/walk & will not be timed.
Magnuson Series – Memorial Day 5k, 10k & 15k
May 26, 2018
Big Back Yard 5k
June 3, 2018
Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA
June 12, 2016 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Magnuson Series – Seattle Solstice 5k, 10k & 15k
June 16, 2018
Run of the Mill 5k
July 11, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Mill Creek, WA
Dogs must be registered to run this race ($15) with their people. Owners accompanied by dogs without bibs will be removed from the course at the 1 mile mark by race officials.
Magnuson Series – Summer Spirit 5k, 10k & 15k
July 14, 2018
Magnuson Series – Summer Fitness Day 5k, 10k, 15k & Half Marathon
August 18, 2018
Bonney Lake 5k Fun Run & 10k
August 15, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Bonney Lake, WA
After the run, stay and enjoy the Bonney Lake Days festival with tons of vendors, food, entertainment, and live music!
Run Like a Dog 5k
August 22, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
PAWS Walk 5k Run/Walk
September 16, 2018
Magnuson Park, Seattle, WA
Run is at 9:00am and Walk starts at 10:00am.
Good Karma 15k Run, 5k Run & 4k Walk
September 13, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Seward Park, Seattle, WA
Women of Wonder 5k & 10k
September 13, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Green Lake Park, Seattle, WA
Uh…. there are brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and a wine and mimosa garden at the end! It’s unclear whether dogs will be allowed inside the “garden” so you may want to arrange to have a friend grab a brownie for you.
Magnuson Series – Family Fitness Day 5k, 10k & 15k
September 29, 2017
Seattle Humane Walk for the Animals – 2.8 miles
October 2, 2016 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Green Lake, Seattle, EA
This is technically a walk but you can run it if you want. Expect to be weaving in and out of the crowd.
UW DAWG Dash 5k & 10k
October 18, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Magnuson Series – Halloween 5k & 10k
October 27, 2018
Sky Valley Classic 5k & 1-Mile
October 31, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
There is a longer distance at this event but only the 5k & 1-mile are dog friendly.
Mustache Dash 5k
November 8, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Magnuson Park, Seattle, WA
It’s only the biggest, baddest, hairiest running series on the planet. NBD. It’s a mustache-themed run that’s a little bit Freddie Mercury and a little bit Ron Swanson.
Magnuson Series – Thanksgiving Day 5k & 10k
November 22, 2018
K9 Candy Cane 5k Fun Run and Walk
December 6, 2015 (date for 2018 not announced yet)
Magnuson Series – Holiday Fun Run 5k, 10k & 15k
December 22, 2018
For the Hard-core, Seasoned Athlete:
As a bonus, here are some trail races that are probably harder than almost any dog can do. Because there might be some crazies (people and dogs) out there, I am including them anyway.
Woolley 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, & 50K (trail run for the hard-core)
February 17, 2018
A note from the race organizers of the below runs:
Dogs are also not allowed in any of the communal bunkhouses (at Deception Pass, and/or Orcas Island), or inside enclosed areas where we’re serving food (the main lodge at Orcas, and the main post-race food area at Deception Pass, for examples). Per our race policies, your dog can get you disqualified if it’s somewhere it isn’t supposed to be, and/or if it’s off-leash and/or not well-behaved on-leash. We dig animals, and we’re certain your dog is the best dog on the planet, but your dog(s) shouldn’t be bothering anyone on race-day, period. And they definitely shouldn’t be creating unsafe conditions out there for any runners.
Orcas Island 25k Trail Race
January 27, 2018 (sold out)
Orcas Island 50k Trail Race
February 3, 2018 (sold out)
Beacon Rock 50k & 25k Trail Race
June 9, 2018
North Bonneville, WA
Oregon Coast 50k & 30k Trail Race
October 13 & 14, 2018
Deception Pass 50k & 25k Trail Race
December 8 & 9, 2018
Oak Harbor, WA