Monday, 11 April 2011

Running with Dogs-It's not as easy as it sounds

In a few weeks time I'll be walking the Sarsen Trail for BBC Wiltshire and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. It's a 26 mile walk, run or bike ride from Avebury to Stonehenge. But another option is to complete the Cani X course...what's that I hear you cry? Well it's running with a dog or a few dogs. The dog is attached to you by a waist harness and a special lead which is a bit like a bungy cord. It has it's own special course along the Sarsen across Salisbury Plain-but to find out just how Cani X works, I signed up to a race in Bagshot.

Running with Dogs by bribriwilliam

It was unlike anything I have ever done before. I borrowed a dog for the day from a lovely chap called Ian from Swindon who has competed at the European Cani X Championships-so I had a dog that was well rehearsed in running whilst dragging a human along behind them!

My dog was a 9 year old black Labrador called Maisy who was fantastic. As we were waiting for our start time I had to hold Maisy back as everytime she heard "3,2,1..." she bolted like she had just seen a rabbit. Maisy was desperate to get running and get around the course, and when we did it was the weirdest feeling. As our countdown came I felt nervous that I was going to be pulled over by Maisy but luckily I managed to hold my balance and survive as she flew from the start line pulling me behind her.

It was a hot day and the 6km cross country course was demanding for me and the dog. I did feel sorry for Maisy as there were some points where I really felt she was actually pulling me along. It was like I had no control over my legs, they just did what Maisy wanted as she was up front. I'm not a natural runner so having Maisy with me made me determined to finish the race and do her proud. I couldn't stop because she was with me every step of the way. As the weather was so sunny I did pause and let Maisy have a much needed gulp of water about half way round the track. It seemed to give her a new source of energy which I welcomed as my finish was really strong because of her.

I felt so proud of Maisy and myself when we finished. This is really why dog's are a mans best friend.

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