The lure of a pleasant evening motivates me to put my paws to pavement and get a few miles under my running shoes. And there are plenty of benefit 5ks coming up to challenge my stride.
As I cruise down the street, pushing for one more mile, I am glad I don’t run with my cats.
House cats can run (albeit probably not sustained) 30 miles per hour. I’ve probably seen Clio, my little 13-year-old black cat, hit this top speed when fleeing some scary who-knows-what. 100-meter record holder Usain Bolt can hit 27 miles per hour or more. Me? I’m just glad to get five miles in under an hour.
While 30 mph may seem speedy, here’s some animal kingdom perspective: giraffes can reach 32 miles per hour, a Saluki (dog breed) tops out at 40, an elk at 45, and a cheetah at 70 mph.
Domestic felines, much like the cheetah, seem designed for speed. A cheetah can accelerate faster than a Ferrari and has leg muscles that boast a 25-foot stride.
Does all this talk of speed make you want to get out there and see if you can beat that four-minute mile barrier? Roger Bannister broke it in 1954 when he ran a mile — 5,280 feet — in an amazing 3:59.4 minutes. In order to achieve the four-minute mile, you’d have to clock in at 15 mph. Ouch! The average guy runs between six and eleven.
Whatever your speed, if your tennies long to answer the call of the road, here are some great ways to double your fun this month, jogging for the benefit of some great causes.
• Saturday Aug. 6: The 7th annual Empowerment Day Race, Run & Walk in Gladstone is a benefit for the Sherie Hildreth Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Free pancake breakfast after the run. Details shocfoundation.org.
• Friday evening Aug. 12: Walkers, joggers and fast runners are invited to participate in the CATnip Friday 5k. It is USATF certified, you don’t have to get up early, and you can bring your dog! Registration includes the 5k and a timed fast street mile to see if you can reach that four-minute mile. Details catnipfriday5k.org.
Please leave your kitties at home. We don’t want them beating you to the finish line!
Kathy is PR Manager for the Cat Adoption Team, author of the Cat's Meow Blog on OregonLive.com, and member of the Cat Writer's Association. She's worked for the Humane Society of the United States and the Oregon Humane Society. Kathy and her hubby live with two 'adopted from a shelter' cats - Mack and Clio.