Our September issue is all about getting outside with your pup!

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PUPPY LOVE
Our cover star Nikita is an 8-year-old Siberian husky who loves running, bacon treats and engaging in howling competitions with fire-truck sirens. Loyal friend to photographer Alain Mitchell and his partner, Renee Wymer (also the lovely cover runner with the swinging braid), Nikita was a trooper on a warm day in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park. She spent the shoot playing with Wymer and running straight in front of Mitchell’s camera. Originally bred for strength and endurance, huskies can run 20 miles a day pulling a heavy sled, but they prefer to exercise in the cold—as evidenced by Nikita’s beeline to the shadow cast by hair-and-makeup artist Lavonne Anthony’s jacket.

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MEET NADIA RUIZ AND HER RUNNING BUDDIES!
Ruiz is the youngest Latina ever to complete 100 marathons. Max is her 8-year-old Labrador and Bruno her 6-year-old boxer. Pick up the issue to see all three in our “Dog On It” (page 52)!

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PLUGGED IN 
In addition to her dogs, Nadia often brings her JLab Epic2 Bluetooth Earbuds ($100, jlabaudio.com) to the trail. “I run with them often and also with my dogs when I am on the trails or mountains. “Depending on my mood, I will usually listen to upbeat dance music such as Kygo, Borgeous, Calvin Harris music stations. I also enjoy listening to my audiobooks when I run or climb for long periods of time in the mountains.” She recently completed Faster, Higher, Stronger by Mark McClusky and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

HOW RUIZ TRAINED HER DOGS TO RUN OFF-LEASH…
Ruiz says she prefers to run with her dogs untethered in areas that permit this, “such as higher elevations where there is very minimal pedestrian traffic…that way they may enjoy the trails just as humans enjoy the trails off-leash.” She explains, “I started both of my dogs with consistent leash training. I introduced brief periods of off-leash only in environments where there were minimal distractions in order for them to first learn to focus on remaining near me at all times. Once an established, trusting relationship has been established, then it is safe to run off-leash—always in an environment that is suitable and safe for your dog, such as trails, a dog beach and/or dog park away from vehicular traffic. Another important factor in running off-leash with dogs is socialization. Dogs should be socialized with other dogs and humans early during the dog-training process.”

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THANK YOU, VICTORIA! 

WR has been lucky to have Victoria Davis (left), a student at Point Loma Nazarene University, as an intern this summer. A journalism major, she’s been a joy to work with in the office, and we wish her well as she becomes the editor of her school newspaper this fall. We expect to see her name on the roster at more 5Ks too. She loved running the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego 5K in June! (She also wrote our fitness feature on page 49—when you grab the issue, that’s her in the photos demonstrating the exercises!)