It’s clear that the folks who live and work in Sevier County, TN are devoted to the well-being of our furry, four-legged friends. On the weekend that Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park were preparing for their annual fundraiser, The Bone Zone Drop for Sevier County Humane Society, HeySmokies’ got the opportunity to catch up with Ober Gatlinburg’s Beth Roark who is also training with her miniature schnauzer Sophie for Pets Without Parents’ spring fundraiser, the Color Me Mutt 5K Run/Walk.
Beth and Sophie are a quite the pair. Beth graduated from Sevier County High School (several years after Dolly Parton) and has worked in the accounting/payroll department of Ober Gatlinburg for 18 years. As Beth puts it, “Sophie rescued me.” Beth tells the story of how a friend had some miniature schnauzer puppies and Beth just went to look at them one day. Then she describes the moment that Sophie hopped in her lap and made herself comfortable. Beth says there was just no turning back at that point.
Both Sophie and Beth have been training for the upcoming Color Me Mutt 5K at NASCAR SpeedPark in Sevierville on Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 a.m. And both Sophie and Beth have had their ups and downs. Beth, with the help of Weight Watchers and support from friends, has recently lost 30 pounds. However, seven-year-old Sophie has recently been diagnosed with arthritis by her veterinarian and is undergoing treatment.
We’re not sure if little Sophie will be able to actually walk in the Color Me Mutt 5K, but Beth reassures us that they both will be there to participate. Beth is currently in search of a doggy carriage for Sophie so that she and friends can finish the race. This will be Beth’s first 5K race and she says her ability to participate in it has everything to do with her decision to make healthy choices for her fitness and well-being.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment,” explains Beth, “I’ve always been interested in doing a 5K but not really committed. Both Sophie and I have gotten up and walked at 5:30 in the morning to prepare for this event and we are committed to seeing it through.”
Join Beth, Sophie, and friends at the Color Me Mutt 5K! You can view the race course and register at colormemutt.com. Participants will receive a t-shirt, commemorative pet charm, packet of color, and unlimited access to NASCAR SpeedPark’s 8 go-cart tracks, family and kid’s rides, mini-golf, and rock wall for a fun day of play for the whole family! The entry fee is $30 for the 5K through April 17, and 440 until the day of the race, when registration fee is $50.
In addition to the Color Me Mutt 5K, the May 14th event also features a Pet Parade at 9:15 a.m. where there will be some fabulous prizes for pets and their owners who dress up and show off their “true colors!” For those interested only in the Pet Parade, registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and is $10 or is $15 on the day of the event. And don’t miss the morning Marketplace filled with local vendors and pet-themed products!