Stray dog who finished half-marathon given participation medal

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(ABC Goldfields: Isabel Moussalli)
The ABC understands a number of runners have lodged an expression of interest to adopt the dog, which is expected to be freed this week unless its owner comes forward.The council said the adoption fee would be at least $300, plus the cost of a microchip and registration.”We are willing to get him out of the pound. Photo:
Stormy was sent to the pound after its owners did not come forward to claim him. (Supplied: Rhea Wholey)
Despite giving other race entrants a run for their money, Mr Wholey said the four-legged athlete had not been “taking it as seriously as the other runners”.”I suppose he would be middle to back of the pack, but he wasn’t necessarily running in a straight line either,” he said.”He probably spent a fair bit of time at the different stations saying hello to everybody.”Whisked away too soonBut before the pooch’s journey was validated by officials, he was taken by rangers to a pound.”A ranger has gone to Kurrawang and left a call card at the address given and spoken to the community,” City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder chief executive John Walker said.Under council rules, animals not claimed after seven days are put up for adoption. A stray dog has won over the hearts of a community after it spontaneously completed a half-marathon alongside human competitors in outback Western Australia.With dogged resolve, Stormy pawed his way through the 21-kilometre Goldfields Pipeline Marathon, which follows a segment of the historic pipeline supplying water to nearby Kalgoorlie.The dog, which is understood to be from a nearby Aboriginal community, was awarded a participant’s medal last week after passing through each checkpoint along the course.Marathon volunteer coordinator Allison Hunter said she had never seen anything like it.”This dog is walking around, making itself known to all the runners. We get the air horn out and say ‘Go’ and off he goes with everybody,” Ms Hunter said.”Speaking with all the aid stations and marshals later, we found out he stopped at every single one.”Race organiser Grant Wholey said it was likely the canine finished in two-and-a-half hours, matching the average time for the 97-person event. (Supplied: Rhea Wholey)
“So Allison and I went down to the rangers, gave him a medal and gave him more exposure so hopefully the owner might see.”Rangers told the ABC the crossbreed dog, which was very popular with staff, was well behaved and would be missed.When asked if spectators could cheer for the furry friend at next year’s race, Mr Wholey said unfortunately Stormy’s long distance career was over.”Where we finish is a pet-free zone, so Stormy is going to have to spectate from the sidelines next year,” he said.”I think they’ll need a good solid lead for him or else he’ll be off again.” Photo:
Organisers say Stormy did not take the race as seriously as other runners. Photo:
Stormy was awarded a finisher’s medal after passing through each checkpoint along the course. He’s friends with all the kids out there,” she said.”From our understanding, he doesn’t belong to one set person, but the pound has told us they have a number.”A very good (and fast) boy While Stormy was counting his days behind bars, he was visited by his new human friends.”We thought he deserved a medal since he had done the whole thing,” Mr Wholey said. We do want the best for him,” volunteer coordinator Ms Hunter said.”He’s the most amazing, loving dog you’ve ever seen.”Ms Hunter said residents in the Kurrawang community had told her Stormy was a community dog.”He could be with Jim Smith today and tomorrow with Joe Smith.
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(ABC Goldfields: Isabel Moussalli) ABC Goldfields

By Isabel Moussalli and Ivo Da Silva

Posted

July 31, 2018 06:31:03

Photo:
It is likely the canine finished in two-and-a-half hours, matching the average time for the event.
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