Photo courtesy of Cori Strathmeyer

Trails and Tails 5K: Furry Friends for Family Wellness

Story by Lizz Dawson for YRK Magazine

Nature and four-legged friends? They already have our attention.

Cori Strathmeyer, race director for Trails and Tails 5K and other marathons in the area, wanted to combine her passion for park trails, wellness and planning races with one of her greatest loves — dogs. By putting everything together, the first annual Trails and Tails 5K was born.

The Details

Trails and Tails 5K will be hosted by the Bob Hoffman Dover Branch of the YMCA of York and York County on Saturday, May 12, at 8:30 a.m. at the Conewago Day Use area of Gifford Pinchot State Park.

The event will begin with the Pet Costume Competition, where winners and runners-up will receive awards for categories such as Best Couple, Sports/Fitness Fan, Biggest Pet, Smallest Pet and Most Colorful. This competition will lead into the event’s “Furry Scurry Fun Run,” where children ages 3 to 12 will be walking or running in a shorter segment of the race. To add to the fun, they’re encouraged to wear animal costumes to participate, and each child will receive a finisher medal at the end. The 5K race will begin at 9:30 a.m., and awards will be presented for the top three male and female finishers later that morning.

Several rescue organizations will host adoption events during the race, such as the York County SPCA, providing opportunities for participants to get information on pet rescue and adoption. The YMCA is also collecting monetary donations through the race registration on its website to support the work of its partner animal rescue organizations. In addition to the support of the animal rescue organization, dollars raised for the Trails and Tails 5K through sponsors and participant registration help the YMCA to fund specialized programs for adults with cancer, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis.

Trails and Tails 5K is just the first of more upcoming events in support of pet rescue and adoption, as the YMCA believes pets are a great asset to an overall improvement of the community’s wellness. “Pet owners walk more frequently than those without pets,” Cori explains. “Additional research shows that owning a pet can decrease stress and anxiety and improve mental health.”

Why York?

For over 160 years, the YMCA of York and York County has served the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Cori’s anticipation for the York community is co-aligned with her work with the YMCA: “My hope is that through education, awareness and lifestyle and environmental changes, the health and well-being of all residents improves, leading to a decrease in incidence of chronic disease and conditions.”

The YMCA uses events such as the Trails and Tails 5K to encourage healthy living by getting people moving in a fun, light-hearted setting, with the hope that they will bring their family and friends to join and continue walking or running regularly in their own lives and communities.

They also want to use the event to showcase other nonprofits in York County, demonstrating how organizations can work together to reach multiple goals for the area.

To register for or get more details on the Trails and Tails 5K, or for specific qualifications for your fur babies, visit the YMCA’s website.

08 May