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Dachshunds Dressed as Hot Dogs Race at Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest

The fast sandwich-clad pups raced for pride—and a Petsmart gift card.

  • On September 19, the 13th annual Running of the Wieners race—a competition in which dachshunds wearing hot dog buns and duke it out over a 75-foot field—took place in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • This year’s winner was 1-year-old Maple, who took home a $75 gift card to Petsmart and (for his owners) a case of Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer.

    At this race, not all wieners were winners, but all winners were wieners.

    The 13th annual Running of the Wieners race took place on Thursday, September 19, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to kick off the city’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati festivities. The race had two criteria: all four-legged participants had to be dachshunds, and they were required to wear a hot dog costume.

    At the event, 100 costumed pups were divided into 10 heats, then raced across a 75-foot stretch of road. The winner from each heat advanced to the final round. After a close battle between the fastest 10 contestants, Maple, a 1-year-old, emerged as the champion. His victory earned him a $75 gift certificate to Petsmart, plus a case of Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer for his owners, Lorene and Jake Sander.

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    While the dogs were responsible for running, the pups’ pit crews were just as involved. Each dog entered was paired up with two humans—one person to psych them up at the start, and another to lure them to the finish line with a favorite toy or treat. Though the open road could be easily overtaken, the dogs didn’t always take the fastest route.

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    “Some of them run straight, but a lot of them get distracted,” Lori Salzarulo, senior Oktoberfest event manager, told Runner’s World. “Sometimes they will start chasing each other, and other times they will stop midrun and stare into the crowd. You really never know what will happen.”

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    After the race, several dachshund owners, spectators, and pups mingled around to celebrate their wins and losses.

    “We host the event close to downtown, where there are a lot of dog-friendly restaurants,” Salzarulo said. The most popular postrace meal? Hot dogs, of course.

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