One might say that Ona, a punky 12-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, has loved a fairly vivid and breezy way of life through the years absorbing the solar in Southern California. A lot of seaside days, a snug heat mattress and an enormous pile of plush toys. What extra might she need? Properly, because it seems, she needs to run!

Almost 50 races and counting

Ona likes to take the lead through the races, so her dad and working accomplice, Jeff, follows her almost the entire time. © Alan De Herrera

Weighing in at simply 6 kilos and standing a mere 6 inches from the bottom, Ona is a seasoned long-distance racer. Within the final six years, she’s accomplished almost 50, 5k runs with a mean tempo simply over an 8-minute mile. Because the adage goes, “Don’t decide a e-book by it’s cowl.” This canine can run!

“I began mountaineering with Ona after she turned 3 and she or he cherished it,” says Ona’s dad, California Freeway Patrolman Jeff Jones. “She at all times had a lot power.”

As an skilled long-distance runner himself, Jeff determined to signal each of them up for his or her first race collectively on the Homeward Certain 5k run in 2016.

“We had already achieved a number of lengthy hikes prior to now however I didn’t understand how she would do working lengthy distance.”

Once they reached the midway mark, Jeff tells me he stopped and provided Ona a fast water break. “She refused and simply wished to maintain working,” he added. “Individuals have been shouting ‘that canine deserves a medal’ as we ran by.”

Quickly after, the duo signed up for a number of extra races and thus Ona’s working journey started. “Even through the pandemic we did 19 digital races,” mentioned Jeff. “Nothing was going to cease Ona from working!”

Breaking information

Ona stays targeted on the end line throughout her races. She doesn’t get distracted by different canine or individuals. © Alan De Herrera.

Final December, I joined them one early morning for his or her forty first race on the Christmas-themed Santa Claus for a Trigger 5k run. Decked out in a heat Christmas neck gaiter dawned with little inexperienced doggie bones and striped sweet canes, Ona regarded up at her dad among the many crowd of runners towering above her. With a couple of wags of her tiny tail, she signaled she was able to go.

On the sound of the buzzer, Ona sprinted out of the beginning gate tugging on her leash with all her may, conserving her head ahead and targeted on the trail forward. “She likes to run out in entrance of me, so I’m actually simply chasing her the entire time,” says Jeff.

A decided Ona charged alongside, unfazed by the cheering spectators or different canine alongside her path. “She’s simply so razor targeted when she runs,” Jeff proudly tells me.

They crossed the end line not solely breaking their all-time file at 24 minutes and 45 seconds, but additionally making the rostrum with a primary place title in Jeff’s age class. “The older she will get the sooner she runs,” Jeff whispered in my ear as they obtained their honorable medals.

There’s a small wood rack on Jeff’s bed room wall displaying 45 ribboned medals: An homage to their working adventures collectively through the years.

“We’ll want an even bigger rack quickly,” Jeff tells me with a chuckle.

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