Brisbane writer and busy mum of two boys. See my parenting articles at www.brisbaneschild.com.au and www.kidsonthecoast.com.au.
If you own a dog, here's a great chance to get outdoors, give your pooch some exercise, and raise money for Guide Dogs Queensland. And you don't actually even have to run if you don't want to.
Run With Your Dog 2012 aims to involve hundreds of happy dog-owners and their four-legged friends on Sunday 11 March.
Starting from the Celebration Lawn at Roma Street Parkland, participants will cover a 5km course that goes up through Spring Hill, past Brisbane Grammar School, and back to the parkland. While the word 'hill' may fill the less-fit with fear, the organisers promise that the course includes some 'gentle ups and downs, but nothing unpleasant'.
You can also choose the start time and pace that suits you best. For the fittest of the fit (I'm thinking greyhounds), the first group will leave at 7am, and they'll be running. If you're fit but you'd like to sleep in a bit more (snoozy labradors, perhaps?), a second running group will head off at 7.30am.
Those who prefer a more sedate pace (owners or dogs) can start a walk at 8am and, if you really want to do it easy, the final walking group will leave at 8.30am. The organisers estimate that most people will take around 25 minutes to complete the course -- but I guess that depends on both your fitness and how willing your dog is to keep up the pace.
In my case, my LBD (little black dog) could rip through the 5km in about 10 minutes, I suspect, but I'd be the one letting the team down. In fact, when I took her out to get a picture for this article, the problem wasn't getting her to run, it was getting her to stop!
Most of the photos ended up as black streaks as she raced across the park with my son, so, in the end, I used the one where we cajoled her into sitting still for two seconds.
The run will start and finish at the Celebration Lawn at Roma St Parkland
Registration costs $25, with a share of every registration fee going towards Guide Dogs Queensland. You can register on-line, and registrations close Friday 20 February. Registrations are non-refundable, and no registrations will be accepted on the day.