Dozer is a 3-year-old goldendoodle who recently achieved quite an accomplishment — he joined the more than 2,000 people running the Maryland Half Marathon on May 15, 2011. He became a last -minute entry when he escaped through an invisible fence in his yard to join the runners passing by his house, which was near mile 5 of the race. Since then, Dozer received an official race finishers’ medal and has raised more than $10,000 for cancer research at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center via his runners’ page. Dozer also has his own Facebook page, where he has already gained over 600 fans.
So what was it like to run with Dozer? Some lucky runners share their thoughts.
Kristin: “I was extremely happy to be running beside you. Thank you Dozer for supporting me during my run and supporting those who are affected by cancer. Maybe we will run together next year?”
Brian: “I saw Dozer when I was running and we became running partners for about a mile. I would sometimes look down to see how he was, and he’d look right back up at me with a big doggie smile on his face! It was great to have a four-legged running partner. It really was great having man’s best friend as a running partner. It made the mile go by so quickly that I didn’t even notice the distance.”
Natalie: “I ran with him for a couple of miles around mile 8 or so. He had a smile on his face the entire time. It seemed as if he was the happiest dog on the earth. He looked just as he looks in the video clip of him crossing the finish line.”
Linda: “Dozer, it was an honor to run the Maryland Half Marathon with you for such a great cause!”
Katherine: “I was the girl who crossed the finish line with him and encountered him several times during the race. Around mile 5 or 6 he was first spotted running along the side of the road in the opposite direction. Everyone had a good laugh at the random dog. About a mile later he was in with the pack, running alongside us.
After that I did not see Dozer for a good amount of time. It wasn’t until the end of the race when I began to sprint that I saw him. At that time we ran and crossed the finish line together. He provided entertainment for us all!”
Brian: “I was running next to this little guy for at least half a mile! I took some pics of him on my phone! It was so awesome because I would look down and this little guy would just look right back up at me like “Yeah, we’re runnin!!” He was my running buddy for a bit. He was so great!!”
Nancy: “Dozer, I saw you at mile 7 and you rock! Thanks for helping to raise money for our patients.”
Julia: “I was cheering and saw Dozer at mile 8 (where I thought he was running with someone), mile 10 (where I started to have doubts that he was running with someone) and at the finish (where he was still running, and kids were trying to catch him, at which time I knew he was a race bandit). Dozer is a natural-born runner! I’m glad he found his way home. I love Dozer!
Rhonda:” I ran alongside that dog quite a bit of the race. He was so excited to see so many humans running!”
Anonymous: “Dozer ran at least 3 or 4 miles of the race near me. His pace was a bit faster than mine. It was such a nice distraction. He truly did have a smile on his face the entire time. It must have been like doggie heaven for him. I’m pretty sure everyone knew he was a bandit, but no one cared.”
Beverly from New Mexico: “I was waiting for my daughter by the last turn at the finish line and here you came. What a great job! You look like you didn’t even break a sweat. Run Dozer run!”
Fleet Feet Cheerers and Runners: “We saw him at mile 5 and he spent some time running back and forth. We couldn’t get him to sit still to check out his collar. We were glad to see him finish, and even more glad he made it home. We also believe he ran way more than the half marathon with all that back and forth. Rock it! Maybe you could join one of our training programs next year.”
Cathy: “You go pup! I was there live at the finish and witnessed this historic event.”
Deb: “Dozer, you gave me a much needed boost of energy when you ran by me around mile 10. I was wondering where your family was and I am so happy you are home. Thanks for giving all of us runners that day something to smile about on that hilly course!”