Karen Hunt has combined her passions for helping animals and running into a single event that will benefit the Langley Animal Protection Society.
In 2015, Hunt ran seven races in seven months, with the goal of raising $7,000.
After she finished her April to October series of 10 kilometre runs, she had actually done a little bit better than expected, racking up $7,800 and change for LAPS.
She and her husband Rob have been runners on and off for decades, she said, and they started volunteering at LAPS in 2008.
“We wanted to volunteer and do something together as a couple,” Hunt said.
The Hunts currently have two pet cats, Maggie and Buster, both of them former ferals rescued from Maple Ridge, and they admired LAPS work with animals.
They often volunteer at various special events for the animal shelter.
Following one successful fundraiser, the Hunts asked LAPS manager Sean Baker and animal care manager Jayne Nelson about organizing a charity run just for the society.
Baker had already been thinking along those lines, and eagerly signed the couple on to help.
Although they’ve never organized a run before, they had picked up some knowledge over the years from the many events they had attended.
That led to the upcoming First Annual Furry Tails Foot Race on April 24, at Derby Reach Regional Park.
There will be both a 10 km run and a 5 km walk/run with well-behaved and leashed dogs welcome on the trails.
Things are going well and a significant number of people have already signed up, said Hunt. Local stores like Save-On-Foods and Tim Hortons have donated some products to help out.
Karen Hunt will be stationed at the Furry Tales Foot Race this year, registering runners and keeping thing moving smoothly.
She couldn’t be on the trails even if she wanted to be, thanks to an unfortunate ankle injury sustained during her seven runs in seven months project from last year.
Hunt said she didn’t think she would get injured just doing spaced-out 10 km runs, but she is still on the mend.
“Hopefully next year!” Hunt said.
There is no specific goal for fundraising from the first Furry Tails Foot Race, but Hunt is hoping that based on early interest, it will be a success.
All the money from race registration goes towards LAPS projects, and teams or individuals can also do fundraising if they want.
Runners can register online at www.lapsbc.ca, with entry fees $50 for adults and $20 for youth six to 17, and $5 for kids five and under in the 5 km run.
Both events begin at 9 a.m. sharp, with the start and finish area at the Edgewater Bar parking area on Allard Crescent. Race package pickup runs from 7:45 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.
LAPS is responsible for the Patti Dale Animal Shelter, and for stray and lost dogs and cats from around the Langleys.
The shelter is about to start a planned expansion for its cat intake area that will provide more room for cats in isolation that have just come in and still need medical care and quarantine.