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On February 25, 2012, Andrew Elliott Rusticus went on a training run as part of an agility test to be a K9 handler with the Grand Rapids Police Department. He suffered a heart attack and ran into the arms of Jesus. His dedication to his faith, devotion to his family, love of friends, and unwavering, humble desire to serve his community with his fellow police officers is being remembered and honored during this event. Police officers skills, thoughtfulness, and willingness to serve are all part of their daily duties to our community. A K9 officer and his canine partner develop a close bond while carrying out these responsibilities. This event will give runners the opportunity to run a 9k or a 3k (with or without your canine on either event) along the banks of the Grand River.


The Andrew Elliott Rusticus Foundation and K9K Race is a non-profit event that supports the Grand Rapids Police Department Canine Unit Foundation, the Michigan Thin Blue Line, a scholarship honoring Andrew Elliott Rusticus at Trinity Christian College, and Vested Interest in K9s.


The race will also include a K9 demonstration presented by the Grand Rapids Police Department. Many other fun events will also be a part of our days' activities.




The K9K began as an idea. An idea to honor a man. A man of God that loved Christ, his girls, his family, and his job. We think we've achieved that and are hosting our event for the 6th time(!), which is an awesome achievement and testament to Andy and all of you who have made it possible. Andy was a Grand Rapids Police Department officer and previously was a Woodridge (IL) Police Department officer. He died while on a training run for an open Canine Handler position with GRPD. The K9K is our way to honor Andy and raise funds for worthy causes.

For those that have not joined us previously, we try to take ourselves seriously, but not too serious. We host two events - a 3k run / walk and a 9k run. Both of them are awesome and we have fun with them. Dogs are invited on both races, but not required.    Who wouldn't want to go for a fun walk or run for a good cause with or without their dog?

As we prepare for our 6th year, we invite you to register. We promise that we will do everything we can to make your time worthwhile and memorable. The park is beautiful, the events can be competitive, the shirts are awesome, and we have great food to enjoy afterwards. So please register and bring your whole family. See you on June 15th!


The 3k is either a brief run through an awesome park, or a nice walk along the Grand River...your choice. Our runners have been as young as 2 and as old as 92. No matter their age, they all agree that it's a great course for some good causes through Riverside Park. You're pretty lucky if you go with this event because you won't be disappointed.


Seems like an odd distance, which it is, which makes it fun. And simply it made for an awesome name for our race (K9K). This trail heads north out of Riverside Park, winds around 5/3 ballpark and follows itself back. There have been some blazing speeds on this run and some not so blazing. In the end there have been many compliments on the course.  Who knows, maybe this year there will be free hugs at the finish line again?!?