Archive for Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dog Days attendees cluster for T-shirts

Red Dog's Dog Days Runners gather for T-shirts Friday near Memorial Stadium. The T-shirts rewarded those who did at least 25 summer workout sessions.

Red Dog's Dog Days Runners gather for T-shirts Friday near Memorial Stadium. The T-shirts rewarded those who did at least 25 summer workout sessions.

August 9, 2008


Dog Days attendees cluster for T-shirts

It was reward day for those who have been sweating it out in an annual Lawrence workout tradition. Enlarge video

Past Event
Red Dog Run

  • When: Saturday, August 9, 2008, 8 a.m.
  • Where: Johnny's Tavern, 401 N. Second, Lawrence
  • Cost: $15 - $18
  • More on this event....

It's a prize that cost hours of summertime sweat.

And the T-shirts that reward the most dedicated participants of Red Dog's Dog Days, Lawrence's public summer workout, have become a hot commodity.

"I go back to work, and everyone has one. It's a big deal," said Kendra Anderson, a Prairie Park School music teacher.

Don "Red Dog" Gardner's crew keeps expanding. More than 800 people earned the shirts this year. They had to attend at least 25 workout sessions this summer.

Dozens on Friday took part in one final noon workout for this summer outside Kansas University's Memorial Stadium. Hundreds more gathered to get their hands on their deserved shirts after showing their appreciation for Gardner, his wife, Beverly, and their nearly 30 helpers.

Gardner started the workouts in 1984, and they have grown immensely, especially in recent years.

"Each year, I think it's because I'm getting old, but it's sad because you see these kids and people, and they move on," he said. "But it's the end, and I'm one of those guys that comes right back ready to go again."

Dog Days once again appealed to people of all ages who wanted to improve their health and get in shape, Gardner said.

Owen Blackwood will be a sophomore at Lawrence High School. He needed a venue for summer conditioning before football season.

"It's a great feeling. It's like a relief," Blackwood said of getting his T-shirt.

He also plans to let plenty of people know what he achieved.

"Oh yeah, first day of school," he said of wearing his Dog Days T-shirt.

The final session was outside the stadium Friday because of the start of KU football practice. Gardner said the stadium is a major draw for participants, but he understood KU's position. He said he would work with KU on planning to return the workouts to the stadium for next summer.

The summer workout sessions are the most popular, but Gardner will go back to work next week.

He'll lead a fall session at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays northeast of Memorial Stadium. The sessions run into November.

There's also the Boys and Girls Club's Red Dog Run at 8 a.m. today at the Kansas River levee to raise funds for the club.


bcoughlin 9 years, 3 months ago

Of course "Red Dog" took the high road but how nice it would have been for him and the "community" participants to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the program in style, traditional style. Instead, a couple of weeks ago, the stadium entrance points were closed and the keys changed so that participants would not even have access to the single restroom. The program was moved outside, and modified (especially on the final day noted in the above article) but it went on with few complaints from the leaders and the hundreds of "communtiy" participants. There may be a logical explanation but many of us wait to hear. I do know that the interior of the stadium wasn't in use as dozens of us worked out Thursday morning at six.I choose to give the benefit of the doubt but, again, sure wouldn't mind hearing an explanation from KU. Not for us, but for "Red Dog" and his volunteer leaders. I hope this isn't uncivil. Not my intent.

justaverage 9 years, 3 months ago

Dog Days has been a Lawrence tradition for 25 years. Let's move forward and keep it going for another 25 years plus! To this end, I think the community of Lawrence truly needs a stadium sports complex for the public to use for a variety of activities. Our community has been able to use sports facilities at Haskell and KU for many years and I know we appreciate this greatly, but it is time for us to have our own facility. Think positive, give 100% effort and do it!!!

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