PAWZ by the Sea goes virtual

— Created December 16, 2020 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

It’s never too late to grab the leash and head out the door for a walk or a run, but there’s even more incentive to do it by the end of the year.

PAWZ by the Sea 5K or 10K run/walk, normally held on Memorial Day, will be taking place after all this year, just in a virtual format. Those interested in participating can do so until Dec. 31.

“Since Pawz by the Sea 5K/10K couldn’t run in-person this year on Whidbey Island and getting out and enjoying some fresh air is always good, the idea of having a virtual run wherever you are seemed like a perfect fit,” said Michaleen McGarry, executive director of the Langley Main Street Association, which puts the event on in conjunction with Animal Hospital by the Sea in Langley.

The event has taken place for at least seven years. Walkers and runners often complete the course with their canine companions. That part of the race hasn’t changed.

“You can bring along your furry friends and support other furry friends with your run now through Dec. 31,” McGarry said. “This event supports the 4-H Happy Hounds Club, Good Cheer Food Bank and the Animal Hospital by the Sea Support Fund.”

Additional donations to the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund, known as the Animal Hospital by the Sea’s Angel Fund, can help pay for the care and treatment of a sick, injured or abused animal and provides financial assistance for pet care to Whidbey Island residents in need.

While course information from previous events is available online (, the move to a virtual format means participants can complete the posted course or make up their own – whether it’s indoor or outdoor.

“There are sample courses available online including the original 5K course and 10K course,” McGarry said. “But participants can go out and run the original course, run on a treadmill at home, or walk their usual route. They can do the course all at once or a mile at a time – it’s up to them.”

As in the past, there are options for runners and walkers from which to choose. The cost varies, depending upon the course, but it ranges from $12.50 for the Kids Fun Run, a one-mile run is $16.50, the 5K run is $29.95, and the 10K is $42 per participant. Each registration includes additional goodies. Those interested may register online or find more information at

McGarry said there are plenty of good reasons to enter this year’s virtual run/walk and participants are encouraged to do so with their furry, four-legged friends, then share their photos.

“My favorite part of this event is seeing all the dogs, and this year will be no different as everyone can upload images of themselves and their furry friends,” she said.

“Everyone who registers will be entered once for the general raffle. Those who upload photos will be entered into the specialty raffles,” McGarry continued. “Look forward to: Best Dressed, Most motivational, Whidbey Island Spirit, and more.”