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Vet students present 'Stampede and Stroll'

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 26 - April 4, 1996

Runners, walkers, roller-bladers, dogs, and dog-lovers are invited to participate in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's sixth annual "Stampede and Stroll" on Saturday, April 13, on the Tech campus.

Sponsored by Waltham and the Classes of '98 and '99, the event includes a 5K roadrace for people at 9 a.m., a one-mile race for roller-bladers at 11:30 a.m., and a one-mile dog-walk for dogs and their owners at 1 p.m. A variety of canine performance contests, demonstrations, and competitions will also be featured throughout the morning. All events will begin on Smithfield Plantation Road near the Duck Pond and will be held rain or shine.

The 5K event offers men's and women's competitive classes for ages 13-18, 19-24, 25-39, 40-54, and 55 and over. Several prizes will be awarded in each class and all participants will receive an official race T-shirt.

New for the 1996 "Stampede and Stroll" will be demonstrations of obedience dogs, police dogs, and assistance dogs for the disabled. An obstacle course will also be offered for dogs and their owners to negotiate.

During the one mile dog run/walk event, dogs will run with their owners along a one-mile course. No female dogs in heat will be allowed, all dogs must have proof of current rabies vaccination and a current dog license, and all dogs must be leashed at all times. The event is open to dogs of all ages and families are encouraged to participate.

Prizes for the dog-race event will be awarded to the top two finishers and to dogs in categories such as best owner/dog resemblance, best costume, best pet trick, largest and smallest, Heinz 57 award, most unusual dog, and others. Judging for the various dog contests will occur from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., and prizes will be awarded after the one mile dog run/walk at 1 p.m.

Dozens of prizes and hundreds of dollars in gift certificates donated by local businesses will be awarded during a brief award ceremony following the event. Prizes range from dinners at local restaurants to shampoos and flea dips at local animal groomers and kennels.

The schedule of events includes 5K roadrace, 9 a.m.; Obedience Dog Demonstration, 10 a.m.; Obstacle Course, 10:30 a.m.; Rollerblade Race, 11:30 a.m.; Police Dog Demonstration, noon; Assistance Dog Demonstration, 12:30 p.m.; and One Mile Dog Run/Walk, 1 p.m.

Pre-registration for each race is $8 and on-site registration is $10. Advance registration forms for the "Stampede and Stroll" are available at the college's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, at the War Memorial Gym, at local veterinary hospitals, and at area sporting goods stores.

On-site registration will be available at 8 a.m. at race headquarters on campus at the intersection of Smithfield Plantation Road and Duck Pond Drive.

Some of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Morris Animal Foundation and Leader Dogs for the Blind. For more information, contact Alyssa Thompson at 552-1419 or by e-mail at althomps@vt.edu.