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St. George fun run brings out owners and their pets to Tonaquint Nature Center

Feb 10, 2024, 5:43 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2024, 7:47 am

ST. GEORGE — You could probably find someone running in St. George every day of the year.

The city is well known for hosting marathons, half marathons, and even Ironman events.

However, for many runners who live in the area, there was always something missing.

“This is my dog. He’s Koda. He’s 2,” said Shay Potter.

When Shay Potter and her friends found out St. George was holding a race allowing pets to run with their humans, she cleared the calendar.

The I Love Pets Fun Run was held Saturday in St. George. (Marc Weaver, KSL TV)

“It gets us out,” Potter said. “It’s active. We get to bring our dogs finally for once.”

The I Love Pets Fun Run was held at the Tonaquint Nature Center Saturday morning.

There was a 5k, 10k, and even a full mile.

St. George city leaders decided to host this event after several residents brought it up.

“We want to do what the community wants and for years people have asked us for a pet friendly race,” said Aaron Metler, St. George recreation manager. “When we had time to put this into our schedule, that was the first thing we thought of is the community wanted this event.”

All pets were invited

It wasn’t just for dogs.

Cats were invited as well.

In fact, any pet was welcome.

“Hamsters, I heard,” Metler said. “One of our staff was going to bring their snake, which I don’t know how many people would have liked that.”

It probably wouldn’t have mattered, because whether the pet walked, was pushed in a stroller, or even carried, everyone had a great time.

“It was really cool how we had all the pets and really fun with a lot of dogs,” said Finn Joines. “Our dog definitely liked it. Right, Major?”

The races were capped to 150 humans and their pets, because with this being the first one, who knew how all the pets would get along?

“This one has got a little bit of an ego that he likes to show off there, but other than that everything has been great,” Potter said.

The event worked out so well that organizers are already barking about next year.

“Hopefully, this will be a tradition for many years to come,” Metler said.

The Pet Fun Run also helped highlight a new section of the Tonaquint Nature Center.

It’s called the Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorial and is dedicated to those good boys and girls who have died.

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St. George fun run brings out owners and their pets to Tonaquint Nature Center