Squamish’s Niki Hurst and Christen Young took part in this year’s Furry Tails virtual race, a fundraiser for LAPS. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Friends take Langley animal shelter run to Squamish trails

Animal welfare group’s annual run goes virtual, raises $7,500-plus

A dog that now calls Squamish home is the reason why two friends from the Sea to Sky community took part in this year’s Furry Tails Race for the first time.

Niki Hurst and Christen Young, both 36, blame it all on Douglas – a one-year-old German shepherd-pitbull mix – adopted from the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) last August. Well, him, and Audi.

The local shelter has actually been part of Hurst’s life for 11 years, – since she adopted her first dog, Audi, a lab-Rottweiler-pitbull cross in 2009.

She since lost Audi in February, at age 15, but described him as incredible companion and devoted trail dog.

“Running Furry Tail seemed like the best thing I could do to honour not only my original trail dog, but the wonderful organization that found her for me,” Hurst told the Langley Advance Times.

Hurst typically participates in four or five trail races a season. But like so many runners, she hasn’t done so in the past year, due to COVID, and she was excited the LAPS fundraiser was her comeback.

RELATED: Going at your own pace for the Furry Tail Virtual Race

For six years now, LAPS has been hosting a Furry Tails Race. In 2020 and again in 2021, due to COVID, that fundraiser has gone virtual. And it’s that virtual component that facilitated the involvement by Young, Hurst, and Douglas – despite their distance away.

The trio run trails together regularly in Squamish.

“This was my first Furry Tails run, but I look forward to years when we can all run together again – I will be travelling to Langley for this event in future, for sure,” Hurst said.

Young added: “It was a great way to set a goal and do something that would push us beyond a usual Sunday.”

Young and Hurst started trail running together when they had their first kids six months apart.

“Spending long days out on the trails seemed like the perfect sanity break from young kids,” Hurst explained. “We continue to push our boundaries together through the sport of ultra-marathon running and we work well as a team out on the trails – which is more rare than you would think. Whenever one of us has an idea for an adventure, the other is usually on board within moments. When I adapted Douglas from LAPS, I joked that I probably should have involved Christen in the process more since she will spend nearly as much trail time with him as I will.”

Furry Tails Race is a fundraiser that helps raise money for the 1,400 animals – like Douglas and Audi – that pass through the shelter in an average year.

This year’s event allowed participants to choose to take part in a 5- or 10-km run or walk, or a half or full marathon. And again, because it was virtual, it ran the full month of April and allowed people to complete it in one day or break it up over multiple days, said Jenn Schroeder, the funds development manager at LAPS.

Participants could walk, run, treadmill, cycle, or even row.

In the case of Young, Hurst, and Douglas, they took their marathon to the mountains, doing a loop deep into the woods – from the Smoke Bluffs, to the Lava Flow, to Quest University.

They were both anxious for an excuse to run and a way to help LAPS, and said they enjoyed this experience.

“This event was perfect as we got to dream up our own adventure with the one stipulation that it had to be a marathon,” Young said, noting they take on a number of running adventures each year.

But Hurst admitted: “We got lost once, battling through a hot day, and ran 816 metres of elevation gain over our 42.2 km.”

Ultimately, they triumphed and had a great time doing so – including a cold water soak in the Squamish River at the end – and they’re already talking about doing it again next year.

READ MORE: Lost Langley pig finds forever home after time at LAPS shelter

Pre-COVID, the best year attracted 137 people for the Furry Tail Race, and the best year for dollars, they raised $10,415. Last year, 111 people took part in the first virtual event, raising the most ever at $12,800.

This year, Schroeder was proud to announce that the Langley Animal Protection Society had 71 participants, nine teams, that raised over $7,674.

“And donations are still coming in,” she said.

.


Have a story tip? Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

animal welfareDogsLangley

Just Posted

A video by Fort Langley resident Richard Donison captured the moment on May 24 when an errant log boom knocked down a bird habitat the end of Brae Island at Tavistock point. (Richard Donison/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: The moment when a log boom destroyed a Langley bird habitat

Fort Langley resident says it happened ‘very, very slowly’

Students at ACSS and BGMS will start the school year in September with positive changes at their Aldergrove Campus. (Special to The Star)
Fit Core athletic centre to link Betty Gilbert and Aldergrove Secondary

Langley School District announced new courses such as guitar and digital technology for students

Douglas Denyer walks with his wife Dorothy, who passes away at 90. The long-time resident of Langley and Rotarian since 1984 turned 100 on June 16. He has two sons, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Celebrating ‘a beautiful life,’ Langley senior turns 100

‘I’ve always tried to help out everyone I can” Douglas Denyer says

Vancouver Giants will return to the ice on Oct. 8, hosting the Prince George Cougars at Langley Events Centre. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Giants will renew division rivalry with Cougars when season resumes in October

First game at Langley Events Centre since February of last year

A flower-bedecked memorial to one three people who died at the scene of a suspicious house fire in Langley stands outside the burnt-out house in the 19600 block of Wakefield Drive on Monday, June 29, 2020. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
First hearing for man charged in Langley triple homicide

Kia Ebrahimian faces three counts of second degree murder

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read