As most of you already know, on the last few months we were busy training for the marathon of Rotterdam. And even though they might (unfortunately) not participate in such an event, the dogs joined me on 95% of my training sessions on that period.
But after a long period of long runs, Marujo and I finally ran our first 5Km Canicross competition this year. I wasn't feeling 100%, but I decided getting out there and having some fun with my buddy could only help me to feel better - so we did it. And I definitively don't regret!
The race was amazingly well organized by the Zuidwolde running group, in Drenthe.
The route was incredibly beautiful and well signalized. It wasn't a easy route for canicross, though: lots of zig-zags, comes and goes, ups and downs (or at least what we, as Dutch, would call so) and not expected turns that can be tricky for the dogs - and for us!
As I mentioned, I wasn't feeling that good. I had a gigantic allergy crises last week and that obligated me to get to medicines - and I don't feel that comfortable taking them. I'm not used to it. But as I said I decided to go there and just have some fun - And it was obviously the right choice to do!
Subscription costed 6 euro and all participants received a bag full of dog's snacks and toys. Moreover, 3 first places (Male and Female) were awarded with medals and dog food (3Kg for 2nd and 3rd places and 10Kg for the winner). "That's certainly the sort of price we like and speed up to!", says Marujo, my dog.
On Canicross competitions, starts are done individually with 15 seconds intervals between participant duos/teams. That avoids a big messy start with all the barking, leashes and so on. It turns out that it's actually hard to say or compare ourselves to the other competitors while racing. Not being outpaced is always a good sign, though. And even though I had my shoelace untied and Marujo had to do two pit stops, we weren't.
Yeah, when I say this wasn't our day or best race, I really mean it! Shoelace untied? And Marujo on the need for (two!!!) pitstops?!?! Come on, Adriana!!! What kind of preparation did you do?
Well, no excuses for the untied shoelace, but in regards os the pit-stops, I normally am fully aware of his "operation system" and give Marujo plenty of time to get empty before the race. But I guess yesterday I wasn't really paying enough attention or wasn't really concentrated. My fault. But that's ok! It's always ok! Canicross is meant to be fun and only fun, so if my buddy needs to stop - for any reason - I will always undoubtedly do it!
I do love canicross and I do love competition. But I can't and don't ask my dog to do stuff he doesn't like or want to. He is the only reason I'm able to do canicross, so if I ever notice Marujo is not having fun while racing, I will immediately stop. If I want to run faster but he doesn't, we simply won't. End of story. But if I see he's willing to speed up, nothing will stop us! And yesterday, when not tying shoelaces, peeing or pooping, we were running fast, enjoying a lot and ended up running 5Km in 22 minutes. This putted us on the 1st place within the women and 3rd place overall!
Importantly, many people gave up participating on this event because of the weather. People seem to be very worried about their dog's health when it gets warmer here. And they definitely should. I mean: everybody must know their dogs enough and be able to decide what is best for them. I would never advise someone to run if they doubt. If you " don't know", don't go.
But it turns that my dogs were both born and grew up in Brazil. We are here for only 2 years now. So when people tell me it's too warm for them when it's around 20 celsius degrees, I must only laugh. That's the Brazilian winter temperature!
But getting used to the heat (or to the cold on my dogs case) can also be part of the training plan. Differently from what most people think, running with dogs is NOT just about running together. It requires both physical and mental training, communication, responsibility and trust.
Finally, four friends and members of our Canicross/running group (CaniLopers) were there too. Leticia ran with Charlie and Deby with Dinho. They were super enthusiastic and had an amazing time as well. Bas, my lovely and talented boyfriend, was there too in order to support us and take all the beautiful photos you see in here!
I'm glad to be back and am already looking forward to the next one!
Thank you very much Loopgroep Zuidwolde for the organization!