Dog finishes Australia half-marathon, wins medal

A dog called Stormy has been awarded a medal after completing a half-marathon in Australia and winning the hearts of its human competitors.

The crossbreed diligently ran the 21-kilometre Goldfields Pipeline Marathon near the West Australian town of Kalgoorlie this month in two-and-a-half hours, the average time of participants.

“People were amused. It was a very friendly dog, and prior to the half-marathon, he was going around saying hello to a lot of people and when the race started, he took off with them,” race organiser Grant Wholey said on Tuesday.

“At the race stations, he was having a little runaround and saying hello to the volunteers and participants, and then he would team up with another runner and keep on following the crowd.

“He was just out there having a trot through the bush and enjoying the company of people,” he said.

Mr. Wholey said the black and brown canine came from a nearby Aboriginal community where, school teachers said, it was known to local residents as Stormy.

Race organisers were told it belonged to the community rather than a single owner, and the one-year-old was impounded by rangers when no-one claimed him after the race.

Mr. Wholey said he visited Stormy last week to award a participation medal in the hope the publicity would see an owner come forward. If not claimed in a week, the dog will be put up for adoption with some of the runners keen to take the pooch home, Mr. Wholeyadded.

“He looks a really friendly, lovable dog. He’ll make someone a good companion.”

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