The 3rd Annual Rachael's Paws & Purrs was held on Saturday, Sept. 13 on the Blackwater Creek trail in downtown Lynchburg.
Despite the Crosswhite Fitness 5K being held at the same time at Liberty University, a large field of runners and dogs turned out for the event, which featured a 5K and 10K run and walk.
The annual race benefits the Rachael Horton Compassionate Care Fund, which was created following the April 8, 2011 death of pet lover and veterinary assistant, Rachael Horton, her husband Aaron and their cat Oscar in an apartment fire in Lynchburg.
Although race morning was chilly, the participants were ready for action. Although some local races permit children in strollers, this is one of the few races in Lynchburg actively encouraging kids and dogs to participate.
About 30 dogs joined in the race with their two-legged partners. Before the race began, many of the dogs were seen socializing with one another as racers went through warm-up exercises.
Top three male finishers in the 5K were: Jeremy White, 19:48.4; Jason Brown, 20:08.3; and Ben Wells, 20:50.5.
Top three female finishers in the 5K were: Donna Howald, 26:01.1; Charlene Morell, 26:40.7; and Nicole Murray, 29:31.3.
The top three dogs in the 5K were: Sabre Kaprow, 29:44.1; Folly Lawhorne, 30:52.7; and Kona Tanner, 30:50.0.
You can find complete results for the Rachael's Paws & Purrs 5K & 10K at The Aid Station website.
An upcoming fundraiser at Robin Alexander Bistro on Friday night, Oct. 4, will benefit the Aaron Horton Scholarship Fund. The fund was established at Liberty University, Aaron's alma mater, to provide scholarships to history students.
The next big race for many Lynchburg area runners is the Virginia 10 Miler on Sept. 28. The Virginia 10 Miler will draw elite runners from around the world.
In addition, this is the first year assisted athletes will compete in the 10 Miler. Eight assisted athlete teams plan to compete.
Give a shout-out to Teams Trinity, Aaron, Marissa, Joel, Sophie, Jasmine, Alison and James on race day. You can read more about running in Lynchburg at the links below.