A few weekends back, I had the pleasure of attending the Fit Foodie 5K & Festival with Ralph, Luna, and my boyfriend. Things have been so hectic recently that I’m just finally getting the chance to go through the photos from the event and reflect on how it went for us. Overall, we had a blast!

Read more about the Fit Foodie 5K & Festival here. Plus, see which other cities also have a race!

Pet Friendly Fun at the Fairfax Fit Foodie 5K & Festival

I’ve been struggling with my weight for the past few years for a variety a different reasons. I love to eat, some aspects of life have been super overwhelming lately, and I’ve had to adjust to the even more sedentary lifestyle of working from home. Recently, I’ve been ready to call my less than healthy choices quit and move forward on a path to get back to the weight I feel good at by making smart food choices and staying active – both alone and with my dogs.

So when I had the chance to get active, meet some great food brands, and hang out with my two dogs all day, I jumped at the chance! The night before the Fit Foodie 5K & Festival, my boyfriend and I picked up our race packets at a local restaurant – French Quarter Brasserie – and had the chance to enjoy some happy hour specials.

The Fit Foodie 5K is finished. Now time for Struan & Ralph to celebrate!

When I got home Friday evening, I laid out my running clothes and prepared my new running belt and hands free leash combination from Kurgo. The belt was pretty hand as it had room for a few small training treats, my cell phone, extra poop bags, tissues, and a chapstick.

Saturday morning we woke up, threw on our clothes, and then drove to Old Town Fairfax where the race was starting and finishing. We had attended the Fit Foodie Weekend the year before and it was in a different location. I definitely think this one was better laid out as the route didn’t overlap as much and there was more room for the festival at the end. To my surprise it was also super easy to find parking! That rarely ever happens in Northern Virginia especially during special events.

Ralph oversees fitness demos at the Fit Foodie 5K & Festival

Before the race officially kicked off there was a group stretch to get warmed up. The weather was perfect for morning exercise and the crowd had me ready to go. I think the dogs were a bit overwhelmed by the number of people milling about, but once we started running they were having a blast! I ran with Ralph and my boyfriend ran with Luna. Whenever we would take the lead ever so slightly, Ralph would look back at Luna and tease her. And of course, he tried to start a game of bitey face in the middle of the race at least once.

I had been training a little bit before the race, but having trouble with pain in my ankles and heels most likely as a result of my weight gain. The week before the event, I decided to finally look into getting a special insole to see if it would help. I took a big risk and used it for the first real time during the race, but it really paid off! I ran the whole race without any pain in my ankle or heel, which was a HUGE win for me. Now I’m actually looking forward to getting out and running again. Too bad the weather suddenly decided to become boiling and humid all of a sudden.

The Fit Foodie 5K is finished. Now time for Jessica & Luna to celebrate!

Part way through the race we had a surprise visitor. Someone had dressed up in one of those inflatable T-Rex costumes to run the race. It gave me and many others a smile and a laugh as we pushed through. Ralph on the other hand was not a fan at all. Every time the poor dinosaur would run by he would try to chase him down. Luckily, for Mr. T-Rex he was attached to me at the waist!

Then we had another visit, but this one was less enjoyable. I don’t know HOW it happened, but at one point I suddenly looked down to see Ralph running with a squirrel in his mouth. A SQUIRREL! I started screaming. My boyfriend started screaming. Random other runners started screaming. And, finally Ralph got the messaged and dropped the squirrel… but of course Luna took that opportunity to claim it as her own. So more screaming occurred and thankfully she too dropped it without anyone having to grab it. What an adventure! That’s what I get for asking “What would they do if they ever caught a squirrel?”, I guess. Lesson learned.

Ralph can't wait to check out the wine garden at the Fit Foodie 5K & Festival

After the dinosaur and squirrel debacles, we finally finished the race and were awarded shiny new pineapple shaped medals. Mine is prominently displayed along with a few other running medals and my conference and press passes. It certainly added a bit of color to my collection.

Following the race, we were read for the FOOD part of the Fit Foodie 5K, so we headed to the festival and John Hancock Vitality Village. We enjoyed a bunch of samples from all kinds of amazing food and fitness brands. Some of my favorites included Inspired Cravings, Thinster’s Cookie Thins, Naked, Wasa, and California Figs. The dogs did surprisingly well with all the food. They did find a few samples for themselves on the ground. A few local restaurants had cheese samples and those were hands down Luna’s favorite. She would have begged in front of those booths all day long.

Ralph & Luna support No Kid Hungry at the Fit Foodie 5K & Festival

Just like many races, the Fit Foodie 5K benefited a charity organization. This year it was the No Kid Hungry campaign by Share Our Strength, which is dedicated to working to end childhood hunger in the United States. What a great cause!

All in all, we had a wonderful time and I can’t wait to sign up for my next race and the Fit Foodie 5K again next year! Fit Foodie has a few other locations around the country. Be sure to check to see if there is one near you!

Have you ever run a 5K with your dog? How did it go?

Disclaimer: I was given a free ticket to the Fit Foodie Festival & 5K and some other small gifts to help spread awareness of the Fit Foodie Festival & 5K. I received no other compensation or additional benefits for mentioning the products in this post. The opinions and ideas in this post are my own and are uninfluenced by any other person or business.

Jessica Shipman
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