British middle distance runner and recently qualified vet, Laura Muir, has announced the date for the inaugural Simplyhealth Canine Run which will take place on Saturday 20 October as part of the Simplyhealth Great South Run weekend. Simplyhealth is also asking local vets and vet nurses who want to volunteer as marshals, or to be part of the event, to get in touch.

For anyone looking for something a little more challenging than a fun run, the Simplyhealth Great Run Series will involve 100 fit dogs and their sporty owners. Those who register and are accepted will take part in the 2.5km run along the scenic Southsea seafront, starting and finishing on Clarence Esplanade.

Dogs taking part in the Simplyhealth Canine Run will need to be well socialised. Whilst an on-site vet will be on hand on the day to deal with any emergencies, owners should also make sure that they consult their vet ahead of the run to check through their dog’s training plan and ensure they are in great shape to take part.

Laura, who is also the 1500m British record holder and World Indoor silver medallist, will be setting everyone on their way as honorary starter.

She commented, “I am thrilled to be part of the very first Simplyhealth Canine Run. Exercising with your dog is a great idea – it ensures that dogs get plenty of exercise and people can also benefit from an increased sense of wellbeing as a result of physical activity. I’m really looking forward to spotting some canine athletes and seeing everyone having fun together.”

The event is the first of its kind in the Simplyhealth Great Run Series. It will take place on the morning of Saturday 20 October before the Simplyhealth Great South 5k, the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run.

Each dog will be accompanied by one owner to run the 2.5km course and once they cross the finish line, dogs will be rewarded with a collar tag and a dog treat, while their owners will receive a Simplyhealth Canine Run t-shirt.

Sally Clarke, Director of Vets at Simplyhealth Professionals, says the company is delighted to have put the spotlight on pets for the first time of the Great Run Series history, “The Simplyhealth Great Run series promotes health and wellbeing and we have an amazing opportunity to also address the needs of the furry members of the family. Canine fitness is about diet, exercise and of course high quality veterinary care. Having veterinary professionals join the team of volunteers on the day and share their expertise in preventive health helps ensure those positive messages are heard by tens of thousands of people.”

Simplyhealth donates at least 10% of adjusted pre-tax profits to charity each year and its charity partner for the Great Run series is mental health charity MIND.

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