A stray dog has been awarded a medal after completing a half-marathon in outback Australia and winning the hearts of its human competitors.
The cross-breed diligently ran the 21-kilometre (13-mile) Goldfields Pipeline Marathon near the West Australian town of Kalgoorlie this month in two-and-a-half hours, the average time of participants.
A total of 94 participants ran Australia’s Ellery Brookman Goldfields Pipeline Half Marathon earlier in July. The typical finisher had approximately 2.02 legs.
The average was thrown off by a local stray dog named Stormy, who met the runners before the race and then, citing a light schedule of licking himself and sleeping for 18 yards that day, decided to join them.
Stormy ran the course diligently, hitting every checkpoint and finishing with an estimated time of 2:30 — good enough for a top 70 finish. Despite not wearing a bib, the very good dog was recognized for his efforts, earning a medal for running 13.1 miles despite stumpy legs.
“This dog is walking around, making itself known to all the runners. We get the air horn out and say ‘Go’ and off he goes with everybody,” volunteer coordinator Allison Hunter told Australia’s ABC News.”
Speaking with all the aid stations and marshals later, we found out he stopped at every single one.”
Stormy didn’t get much time to revel in his accomplishment, however. Rangers took the canine from the finish line, which is a pet-free zone, to the pound after no one claimed him at the end of the race. He’ll spend up to seven days in dog jail waiting for his owner to pick him up.
Organizers were told the good boy is a year-old resident of a local Aboriginal community who doesn’t have a single owner, but knows everyone in town.
If no one claims the rugged half-marathoner pup by the end of the week, he’ll be put up for adoption. Anyone in western Australia looking for a running mate will be able to apply to give him his forever home for a cost of about $300, plus expenses.