(Update: Adding video)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend is known as one of the most dog friendly places in America – and it just got even friendlier. Alpine Outfitters and Oregon Trail of Dreams Sled Dog Rides are hosting the first annual DOGTOWN USA CANICROSS DOG & JOG on Saturday, May 28 at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. All proceeds will benefit Big Brothers and Sisters of Central Oregon (BBBSCO).
Canicross, named for its mash-up of “canine” and “cross-country,” is the sport of cross-country walking, jogging or running with your dog.
Canicross is as simple as jogging with your dog on a leash, although to experience canicross at a synergistic level between runner and dog, the person wears a belt, the dog wears a harness, and the two are tethered with a bungee leash.
Originated in Europe to train working and sled dogs in the off-season, canicross is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and in the U.S. with mainstream dog owners as a competitive event and hobby for fun.
The DOG & JOG begins at 9 am and will feature four canicross events for kids, adults, and couples including:
- 400 Meter Kids Junior Canicross - $0 (kids ages 5-12)
- 5K Canicross (Run/Walk) Individuals - $50
- 1 Mile Canicross (Run/Walk) Individuals - $50
- 1 Mile Canicross (Run/Walk) Couples - $75
Bring your dog and participate in one of the races at your own speed or simply enjoy meeting other members of the canicross community. Check out the booths from local dog shelters, dog trainers, pet stores, and athletic gear. Music will enhance and complement the beautiful canicross trails of the Deschutes County Fairgrounds & Expo Center and food and beverage trucks will be on hand.
Most importantly, event registration fees and proceeds will support BBBSCO, a Bend-based 501(c)3 non-profit that empowers and improves the futures of Central Oregon’s youth by providing caring adult mentors. BBBSCO strengthens our communities, and as a community, we have this fun and unique opportunity support their invaluable cause.
As proud members of the Central Oregon community, Alpine Outfitters and Oregon Trail of Dreams Sled Dog Rides, along with event host Lee Anderson from KTVZ NewsChannel 21 (21 Cares for Kids), are proud to present the first annual DOGTOWN USA CANICROSS DOG & JOG to Canicross for Kids.
“The DOG & JOG is going to be a fun and festive event for people and their dogs that benefits the youth of our community,” said Bruce Stegmaier, event co-host and owner of Alpine Outfitters. “We brought this canicross event to DOGTOWN USA – Bend, Oregon – because people here love being active outdoors and love their dogs, so it’s the perfect place for canicross to catch on. Whether someone is a serious runner who wants to compete in canicross competitions, or wants to start a new activity with their dog and discover the gear that equips them to do so, or simply wants to join the community and run, walk or jog with their dog, we all get to support the cause and Canicross for Kids.”
Alpine Outfitters® and Oregon Trail of Dreams Sled Dog Rides are both family-owned businesses of the Bend community that have been keeping alive the heritage of working dogs and dog sledding for many years. Alpine Outfitters locally handcrafts high-quality gear for working and active dogs, such as sled dogs, as well as for all dog-powered outdoor activities including canicross, skijoring, bikejoring, scootering, mushing, hiking, and everyday adventures. Alpine Outfitters makes the same equipment available for urban people and pups as they do for world class sled dog teams who compete in sled dog races such as the Iditarod.
Oregon Trail of Dreams, based at Mt. Bachelor ski resort, has been providing sled dog rides for over 40 years. Jerry Scdoris founded the dream and the company that is now managed by his daughter Rachael Scdoris. Their team of professional guides have more than 100 years of combined experience to provide guests with an unforgettable, fun and safe sled dog experience.
Both Jerry and Rachael are competitive sled dog racers as well. Rachael was the first legally blind person to complete the 1,049+ mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska in 2006 and competed three more times after. Jerry recently completed the Pedigree Stage Stop Race in Wyoming and set the record as the oldest participant to compete in the race.
Canicross is a mainstream offshoot of the working and sled dog heritage that everyone can enjoy, and this canicross event will bring together people and dogs and community – Canicross for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Best Friends!
“Canicross can be enjoyed by all,” said Jerry Scdoris. “You'll be able to walk, jog or run (fast) with your ‘best friend.’ Bring your dog and participate at your own speed and have a fun day!”