The Run for the Animals 3K is a unique race, not just because of its cause, but because of its roots.
The race will be held at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan on June 16 and will the benefit the Monmouth County SCPA in Eatontown. Owners and their dogs are invited to participate in the fourth annual race, which also includes a 40-yard Doggie Dash for canines.
The idea behind the Run for the Animals race came from Robert Murphy, 16, who attends Freehold Township High School and started the race four years ago.
"After I saw commercials on TV (for national animal welfare organizations) I wanted to help all the abused and neglected animals, but I wanted to do something big," Murphy said in a release. "I decided to combine this with my passion for running, and that's how the event started.”
Murphy is the largest contributor to the Monmouth County SPCA under the age of 18 and that the 2011 race raised $7,000.
Race organizers say awareness about the race has helped participation increase every year. Over 400 people and 200 dogs participated in last year's race.
"We are excited to partner with the Run for the Animals again this year," Monmouth County SPCA Director of Development Meghan Rehbein said. "Robby Murphy and his family have helped build this event into a major fundraiser for us."
Registration for the race is currently underway and entrants who sign-up by May 27 qualify for the $10 entrance fee and will qualify for a free race T-shirt.
The Doggie Dash starts at 10 a.m. and all dogs must be registered for the dash with a $1 fee. Dogs must must be on a leash and accompanied by their owner at all times.
While dogs need to be signed up for the dash they can run in the 3K for free with owners when the race starts at 10:15 a.m.
To learn more about about the race or to download a registration form visit www.runanimals.zoomshare.com.