Heavy Rain Doesn’t Dampen Spirits at the Hounds and Harriers Run


MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ--The ninth annual 3-mile Hounds and Harriers Run was held in Loantaka Park on October 8. That was the day 8-10 inches of rain fell and flooding was widespread. In spite of the weather, about 100 hearty souls came to support this event. This year a woman took the overall win. Bonnie Linton and her wire-haired pointing griffon, Rusty, (Hackettstown) outclassed the field in 17:00. Kevin Higgins of Randolph was the first male across the finish line with his golden retriever, Sneakers (17:36). The times were slow this year due to the wet field and flooding near the pond in the park. This is Bonnie’s first overall win, but she has been the first place woman the previous four years.

About 100 runner/dog teams completed the 3-mile course on this day that would keep most of us indoors. Runners came from as far away as Pennsylvania and New York to participate in spite of the weather. All seemed to take it in stride. A second shorter event called the “Paws from the Past” was held for dogs that are retired from running the 3-mile course. The highlight was watching Ernie DePiano participate in this shorter run. Ernie will be 16 in a few months and has participated in all nine Hounds and Harriers Runs, finishing as high as second in 1999. Ernie’s fastest time (17:03) was in 1998.

The race plans to donate $8,500 to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, a substantial increase over last year’s donation of $6,700. This increase was due in part to the generosity of the participants who donated over $2,600 in addition to the entry fee. Thirteen individuals or families donated between $100 and $400: Chris and Debbie Kelly, Robin and Susan Dawson, Bill Winterbottom, John Beers, John Walsh, Sherry Brosnahan, the Eisenrech family, Tim Hunt, Peter Hyland, Tracey Keeney, Joel and Claudia Orton, Robert Tona, and Michele Kraweak. They received a gift bag from Morris Animal Inn. Other $25 or more donors were given a membership to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and a gift from Kraft foods.

The grand prize was a gift bag of goodies and toys and a $50 gift certificate from NJ Pets in East Hanover. All placement winners received a custom-designed show ribbon donated by NJ Pets and a 5lb. pail of dog treats and a toy donated by Milk Bone. In addition to 10 placement awards for men and women, recognition was given to first shelter adoptee or rescued dog, first veteran dog (age 10 or over), first small dog, and first large dog.


This race is the favorite of all who attend. As reported by Charlie Lewis, “Every year I come away with another story or two that I share with friends. I just smile ear to ear. The one that comes to mind this year takes place just as we leave the soccer field onto the road. All the dogs are still all charged up and good ’ol Hudson is pulling me like he’s the lead for some dog-sled team! Usually when we’re running he’s on my left or right, but not when he’s in ‘dog-sled mode’…he’s right in front. Well with all that water on the road, I felt like I was three feet behind an 18-wheeler with no splashguards! That guy was kicking up so much water, I wasn’t only getting Mother Nature’s wrath, but back splash from four paws just churnin’ it up down the road…you just had to laugh!”

The Race Director warned the participants of some protruding roots on the unpaved portion of the course. Little did anyone anticipate a larger hazard. A large tree fell across the course during the race just after the two-mile mark right in front of 84th finisher Debbie Bell and her dog Shadow. Debbie was grateful that Shadow had stopped to relieve himself.

The main goal of the event is to have a fun and safe event for runners and their most reliable and enthusiastic training partners, their dogs. The race prides itself on the amenities given to each participant. This included a specially designed T-shirt and bandanna by Swedish artist Eva Arvidsson.

Each entrant also received a goodie bag with gifts from Kraft Foods and its Nabisco Division, NJ Pets, Morris Animal Inn, Blizzard Bones, and Pfizer. Milk Bone is the event’s main sponsor but other contributions were made by returning sponsors Murray Hill Veterinary Associates, Perambulating Pets, Liberty Abstract title insurance company, Benefits and Premium Review, NJ Pets, Morris Animal Inn, Smith Barney Citigroup, TriBoro OBGYN, and Happy Tails, Inc. Local contributors donating goods include Actively Yours--Active Wear for Less, Schnippers Gift Shop, and the Bagel Chateau. This race is one of two put on locally by the Madison-based Rose City Runners Club. The second, the Giralda Farms Run, is a people-only race and was held in Madison on November 13.


St. Hubert’s adoptees: Pepper Belle Weeks, Max Brown, Nillie O’Brien, Sunchi and Oreo Rushman, Shadow Prebenda, Skippy Redling, Rudy Moorhead, Misha Olesnicky, JJ Colrick

Veteran Dogs (10 or over): 10 years: Max Brown, Hanson Farishian, Charlie Koziol, Dakota Maccaroni, Beri Mandak, Charlie Sikora 11 years: Gretl Dawson, Dakota Kraweak, Chinky Prebenda, Simba Volz, Kate Winterbottom 12 years: Oreo Rushman 13 years: Sasha Chavez, Polo Jaworowski, Rudy Moorhead, Sunchi Rushman 14 years: Chaps Jaworowski 15 years: Ernie DePiano

Paws from the Past: Ernie with Mark DePiano, Frosty with Tom Calabretta

Dogs running in all 9 Hounds and Harriers Runs: Ernie DePiano, Tucker Fox, Sunchi and Oreo Rushman


SNEAKERS (17:36).

1. Bonnie Linton/Rusty (wire-hairied griff.) 17:00
2. Kevin Higgins/Sneakers (golden ret.) 17:36
3. Chuck Paul/Lady (speedmix) 18:09
4. Peter Hyland/E.D. (golden retriever) 18:19
5. Mark DePiano/Dillon (border collie) 19:01
6. Bill Winterbottom/Kate (lab) 19:06
7. Robin Dawson/Gretl (plothound) 19:19
8. Patrick Asay/Holly (retriever mix) 20:00
9. Franz Mitterer/Riggs (lab pit mix) 20:03
10. Ben Clarke/Blue (border collie/eskimo) 20:09
11. Eric Jaworowski/Chaps (border collie) 20:16
12. Joyce Jaworowski/Polo (pug/whippet) 20:22
13. Robert Tona/Blaze (brittany) 20:48
14. Ben Duncan/Phoebe (boxer) 21:01
15. Etienne Roux/Jessie (Staffordshire) 21:04



1. Kevin Higgins/Sneakers (golden ret.) 17:36


1. Chuck Paul/Lady (speedmix) 18:09


1. Bill Winterbottom/Kate (lab) 19:06

Big Dog

1. Peter Hyland/E.D. (golden retriever) 18:19

Small Dog

1. Greg Mandak/Beri (Welsh Terrier) 22:28
2. Mark DePiano/Dillon (border collie) 19:01
3. Robin Dawson/Gretl (plothound) 19:19
4. Patrick Asay/Holly (retriever mix) 20:00
5. Franz Mitterer/Riggs (lab pit mix) 20:03
6. Ben Clarke/Blue (border collie/eskimo) 20:09
7. Eric Jaworowski/Chaps (border collie) 20:16
8. Robert Tona/Blaze (brittany) 20:48
9. Ben Duncan/Phoebe (boxer) 21:01
10. Etienne Roux/Jessie (Staffordshire) 21:04



1. Bonnie Linton/Rusty (wire-hairied griff.) 17:00


1. Cheryl Maccaroni/Dakota (Aus. Kelpie) 21:45


1. Joyce Jaworowski/Polo (mix) 20:22

Big Dog

1. Janet Wall/Basil (lab) 26:04

Small Dog

1. Jill Sanders/Lucy (mix) 21:25
2. Pat Giaquinto/Autumn (standard poodle) 23:51
3. Susan Dawson/Sparky (lab/greyhound) 24:15
4. Darlene Racht/Jesse (golden retriever) 24:28
5. Sara Erb/Emma (border collie mix) 25:09
6. Lois Eder/Oliver (Yorkshire Terrier) 25:13
7. Stephanie Chamberlain/Maxine (lab) 26:12
8. Elizabeth McCoy/Scout (terrier mix) 26:18
9. Susan Stevenson/Lucy (lab) 27:00
10. Jennifer Bona/Schatze (German pointer) 27:07



Hounds & Harriers Race a Family Affair
for Prebendas and Pets


When I started the Hounds & Harriers Run in 1997, I really wanted to create a utopia for running dogs and their training partners. Since I had been on the wrong end of a few not-so-friendly receptions when I brought my dog to races, I really wanted to treat dog people just the opposite. I thought of everything that I liked in different races and set out to put them all together in one package. I really wanted to do as much as I could for these good people and their dogs as well as benefit my local shelter. Little did I realize how much I would get back. It has been a real joy getting to know those that are loyal followers of the race and find out just how special they all are.

One such person, or should I say family, is Shelly Prebenda and her rather unusual family. In 1997, I received two applications from the family. One was for Shelly (the mom) who was to run with the family’s cocker spaniel Chinky (for Chincoteague) and her 13-year-old son Aaron was to run their young 10-month-old pug Stargazer. I called her and questioned the wisdom of running a pug for three miles and she explained that they had been training before they heard about the run and that “Gazer” really was in shape.


I held my breath and said, “OK.” The pair did just fine, finishing in a time of 25:28. For three years following, Stargazer successfully ran the three miles but each year lost a minute or two off her time as her body changed. Then, in 2001, Stargazer really struggled with the run (37:15) and had to be carried a bit by her concerned caretaker Aaron. It was decided that Stargazer needed to retire from the 3-mile run. That was also the last year Aaron could run because he was off to college.

The first year of the race the family was made up of two dogs and four children. The second year there were two new dogs, Shadow and Relic (both rescue mixes), and two new participating Prebendas: dad Michael and second oldest Reid, then 12. Margo ran her first race in 1999 at age 11 to be followed in 2000 by Shane the next year at age 9. Margo and Shane each ran with Relic and they were a sight as they were so small and Relic is a rather large lab mix. Somewhere along the way two new Prebendas arrived: Troy is now six and Collin is now four. Reid has the family record of 21:34 (at age 15).

A few years ago I started the Paws from the Past for dogs like Stargazer. Held a half-hour before the big event, these retired dogs could run the finish stretch to a cheering crowd and receive a ribbon and prize for their effort. Last year Troy (who was five at the time) became the new handler for Stargazer and participated in the Paws from the Past. This year Troy and Stargazer were registered and at the race site, ready to go. However, they didn’t hear the call for the start of the Paws from the Past. Troy was crushed when he found out he missed the event. So on October 20, 12 days after the official race, Shelly, Troy, Collin, Stargazer, Shadow, and I went over to the race site for a “do-over.” We gave Stargazer and Troy their much-deserved cheer as they ran the finish stretch of the race. Troy got his ribbon, his prize, and a great memory to keep always. There is talk already of 4-year-old Collin running with Chinky next year in the Paws from the Past. Chinky will be 12 next year and may need to retire from the 3-mile run.

Note: Shelly trained Shadow, Chinky, and Relic for the Hounds & Harriers Run. The children and husband were busy with school and work and the kids stay in shape with involvement in sports. I caught her one day in the park not only running the three dogs, but pushing a stroller with Collin and Stargazer! What an amazing lady!


Stargazer was scheduled to go and live with Aaron at school this fall at Tulane in New Orleans. Katrina changed those plans. Aaron is now going to American University in Washington, D.C. Reid is at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.