Iowa State Vet Med hosts Sixth Annual IRONDOG 5K

Jordyn Dubois

Close to 80 people in Ames and the surrounding community came out to Ada Hayden City Park on Saturday to support Iowa State’s Sixth Annual IRONDOG 5K run/walk.

The IRONDOG is a race held in support of animals whose emergency surgeries cannot be afforded by their owners. Over the last year, the fund has helped in ten of these cases. 

Bailey Ulrich, co-director of the event and third-year student in Iowa State’s Veterinary Medicine program, said any donation helps because “all the money goes right into the fund.”

Lorain Mix, who has had two of her dogs go to Iowa State’s vet hospital, said she knows the tough situation owners face when told their pet needs surgery.

“When you have a pet that’s in need and is in an emergency situation and you don’t know what to do, this is a good alternative,” Mix said.

Mix decided to run the race with her sister, Muriah Reed, after looking at races in Iowa and finding the IRONDOG. Mix said the course was very well mapped out and in a nice area. 

Owners ran with red shirts alongside their dogs, who sported matching red IRONDOG bandanas. From chihuahuas to labs, dogs of all sizes were welcome to partake in the 5K with their owners.

Penny Blackburn walked the race with her two dogs, Kami and Koda, and said being able to participate with dogs made the race more fun. This year was Blackburn’s fourth year participating in this race after a friend told her about it.

The first runners finished the race in 20 minutes, followed by the rest of the participants and dogs. Volunteers said they were glad the rain stayed away and it wasn’t too cold out. 

Students involved in Surgery Club helped organize the 5K and volunteered by handing out snacks and cheering on runners.

Although numbers were a bit down from past years, vet med students said it may have to do with another 5K being held on Sunday.

“We’re hoping this could be our way to get main campus involved and not just the vet school,” Ulrich said.

Coordinators for Iowa State’s veterinary school plan to continue hosting the 5K for years to come in hopes that other colleges will catch on and start an IRONDOG race of their own.