Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2007

T-shirts prove Dog Days endurance

August 11, 2007

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Red Dog Days

Participants sweat it out on the final day of Red Dog Days at Memorial Stadium at Kansas University. Enlarge video

Lawrence resident Meghan Graham runs through the gamut of calisthenics during the final workout of Dog Days Friday at Memorial Stadium. Participants who attended 26 workouts received T-shirts in recognition of their achievements.

Lawrence resident Meghan Graham runs through the gamut of calisthenics during the final workout of Dog Days Friday at Memorial Stadium. Participants who attended 26 workouts received T-shirts in recognition of their achievements.

Brady Tanner, of Lawrence, completes a half-mile run during the final workout of Dog Days. On Sunday, Tanner set records for the powerlifting squat and deadlift in the Special Olympics division of the Natural Athlete Strength Association World Cup in Oklahoma City.

Brady Tanner, of Lawrence, completes a half-mile run during the final workout of Dog Days. On Sunday, Tanner set records for the powerlifting squat and deadlift in the Special Olympics division of the Natural Athlete Strength Association World Cup in Oklahoma City.

The rules are simple.

"If you've made your 26 times fair and square, then you get a T-shirt," Don "Red Dog" Gardner said.

But the road is rough.

"We sprinted a lot, ran, did stairs, jumping jacks, volleyball jumps," said Jenica Wessels, who participated in Dog Days, daily workouts led by Gardner at Kansas University's Memorial Stadium.

That road came to an end Friday afternoon, and a coveted prize waited at the finish line. After a set of calisthenics and a timed half-mile run, Dog Days participants who attended at least 26 of the daily workouts could pick up a neon yellow and electric blue T-shirt.

"You have to really earn them. It's like a status symbol," said Leslie Milton, her T-shirt slung over her shoulder, achieved after she attended 29 workouts.

"Because they participate, that $4 shirt becomes a $1 million deal," Gardner said. "It's the challenge to see if you can get it."

Gardner estimated more than 700 people reached that goal this summer, attending workouts at 6 a.m., noon or 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Saturday.

"A lot of them have been coming for a few years, and their goal was above the 26 times," said Catherine Glidewell, who helps organize Dog Days with her husband, Randy. "Some wanted to get 40. We have a certain gentleman who is 61 this year, and so he wanted to get 61 times, and he did it. So, it's about setting personal goals and achieving that."

"We've earned it. That means more than the T-shirt," Wessels said.

The summer season of Dog Days wraps up this morning with a four-mile run and two-mile stroll on the Kansas River levee. Registration for the Red Dog Run 3 is $18 and goes from 7 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. at Johnny's Tavern. The race begins at 8 a.m. All the proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence.

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 8 months ago

This is a barbaric tradition. Each and every parent that took their kids out there each and every day, forcing them to work out in 100 degree weather should have them taken by Child Services. It's inhumane, and even seasoned athletes will tell you that it is downright STUPID to work out all day, every day, especially in this heat.

End dog days, once and for all.

moveforward 7 years, 8 months ago

Ragingbear...

that tongue had better be firmly planted against your cheek.

happilycaffienated 7 years, 8 months ago

Dog Days is a wonderful tradition. I would recommend everyone give it a try at least once. In addition to regular exercise it helps me remember to drink enough water during the summer months. The huge number of people who participate is something Lawrence can have pride in. When children attend they can see that exercise is something people do throughout their lives. The feeling of accomplishment after just one workout is wonderful, but the feeling of getting enough workouts to receive a t-shirt is that of a goal accomplished.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

ragingbear- Where to begin? How about that there are 3 sessions a day and only one is during a truly hot part of the day, the 6 O'clock sessions really werent bad, especially the morning one. Exercise in the heat is not as dangerous as you want to believe, as long as you avoid over heating and properly hydrate yourself. Your comment just shows complete ignorance to what this program is all about. Over 60% of the U.S. is obese, any huge community effort to get people off their lazy butts and exercising in any way, shape or form is anything but barbaric. Happilycaffienated put it perfect, those kids dragged to dog days by those horrible parents you want them taken away from, are going to see that fitness is something that needs to be done in every stage of life. It's predicted that over 70% of americans will be obese by 2015, if we can get the kids now on the right path maybe we can prevent that statistic from getting so high.

jamoca 7 years, 8 months ago

Red Dog runs this VOLUNTARY program FREE OF CHARGE out of the goodness of his heart. We should all feel very fortunate that he cares so much about this community.

He's a Lawrence gem!

eb 7 years, 8 months ago

Barbaric? Hardly. Dog Days is an amazing tradition that Lawrence has, and if more communities in the United States had such a program, then perhaps the U.S. as a whole would be healthier (and friendlier for that matter!). Those who talk themselves out of exercising and want to stay in should do so as the others get out and run together and make new friends. Furthermore, all of the road races around town that benefit various organizations are heavily attended by Dog Days participants, so the people give back to the community by supporting worthy causes. Long live Dog Days and Red Dog!!

KsTwister 7 years, 8 months ago

My son said the Army was a snap compared to Dog Days. He went every year and not because I wanted him to on the very hot days. But talk about coming away with self esteem--it was all good and it was always his choice.

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 8 months ago

I love Dog Days! The atmosphere is supportive and I come away feeling very strong and motivated. I've lost a lot of weight this summer. If running isn't your thing, come and do the calisthenics and then walk the track. As Red Dog always says, use your head, do the best you can, and don't make fun of anyone else. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Ragingbear 7 years, 8 months ago

Yeah. Next time it happens I am going to be there with a video camera. Too many parents make sure they get enough water, but only one drink for their kids.

KsTwister 7 years, 8 months ago

Some kids can be led to water but you just can't make them drink. Teach your children well.

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