Youngsters among ranks in summer Dog Days workouts
Red Dog Run
- What: Four-mile run or two-mile walk along the Kansas River levee, benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence
- When: 8 a.m. Saturday
- Where: Starts at Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St.
- Registration fee: $15 in advance
- or $18 on Saturday
- Info: 841-6854 or www.bgclawrence.com
Red Dog Days
What do teachers, doctors, attorneys, mothers pushing strollers, high school athletes and even elementary school children have in common? They all can be found at Memorial Stadium on the Kansas University campus Mondays through Thursdays, three times a day, doing jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, running stairs or jogging laps around the track in the heat of the summer.
Hundreds of people of all ages join in on Dog Days. Many wonder how this all began.
Don “Red Dog” Gardner was a trainer for Lawrence High School in the 1970s. However, some of his sports players weren’t fit, and many were injured during the season. So Gardner started an exercise program for LHS athletes to prevent cramps, strains and pulled muscles.
Eventually, people other than student athletes started attending.
“At first, 100 percent of the participants were kids, then it was about 50 percent, and now it’s about 30 percent kids,” Gardner says.
The youngest child Gardner ever saw attend Dog Days was Piper Glidewell, who, along with her parents, came to support the regular Dog Day crowd when she was only 3 days old. Gardner’s grandson started participating when he was about 4 years old, after watching his grandpa lead calisthenics.
Ten-year-old Micah Edmondson, a home-schooled fifth-grader in Lawrence, participates in Dog Days as much as he can. He says he does everything the adults do and it has improved his fitness. He says he really enjoys Dog Days and usually comes to the 6 a.m. session.
Lane, 12, and Cole Deghand, 10, come all the way from Berryton to get fit. Lane usually runs around the track, and Cole does the same workout as the adults. They come to the 6 p.m. session and think Dog Days had improved their fitness a lot.
In the morning, Gardner says he gets athletes from football, cheerleading, volleyball, cross country and track.
“I would love to see kids from different sports such as soccer come out,” he says. Gardner thinks it’s important for the community and student athletes to see each other get healthier.
Summer workouts end this week. The third annual Red Dog Run, a four-mile run or two-mile walk along the Kansas River levee benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, is 8 a.m. Saturday. The starting point is Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St. To register, call 841-6854 or visit www.bgclawrence.com. Cost is $15 in advance or $18 on Saturday.