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Runner’s best friend: Darren Lee and Ruby

Credit: Trent Dilkie

When Darren Lee left for a vacation in Aruba, he didn’t expect to come back with a puppy. While walking on the beach he discovered an abandoned puppy. It appeared about four weeks old. Ruby is a Arubian cunucu, a breed found only in Aruba.

Credit: Trent Dilkie

Horrified at the thought Ruby would be put down, Darren completed the paperwork to adopt the dog and flew home with his new friend. Lee, an accountant and accomplished pianist, found himself with a new running buddy.

“I always run and I always play piano, but the focus on each wanes with the seasons. During marathon season, running is my priority and in the aftermath, piano is the priority,” Lee explains.

Furry Friends 5K
Credit: Trent Dilkie

For the past two years, Lee and Ruby have been crowned champions at the Furry Friends 5K, a road race in Whitby, Ont. where runners race with their pets. “It’s really a matter of keeping Ruby focused,” Lee says, “but she has a bit of an ego. She likes to be ahead of the other dogs.” Ruby and Darren are competitive enough to peel off a 3:45 per kilometre pace while attached by leash. The pair won the 2015 race in 18:45, an improvement from last year when they won in 19:52.

Their favourite running route is the Don Valley Beltline Trail where they usually head out for half-hour runs together a few times each week.


Do you run with your dog? If you do, email caela@runningmag2.wpengine.com to be a part of our series.