On Sunday the 8th October the troops and i made our way to Cliff Lakes, Tamworth to participate in the first of the new Chrysalis K9 Canicross Series. Its a series with a difference where by the aim is to better your time with each monthly race and be the most improved runner at the end of the series.
I felt for the event organisers as a few days before the race day they learned that the venue had double booked so with a lot of re organising the event was still able to go ahead all be it at a much earlier start / finish time than had previously been planned for.
It was my first time at this venue so it was a pleasant change to be running somewhere new for both Dutchy and myself.
The course was a short 3.5k but incorporated a couple of hills and of course what goes up must come down. Living in Northamptonshire Dutchy and i don't often come across hills so there was a moment in that down hill section i honestly thought i was going to go flying flat on my face !
We completed the course in a nice time of 15:15 and received a lovely glass medal for our effort.
Admin: Well done for a fab time - the flying Dutchy is starting to enjoy this canicross lark!
Apologies for the slight delay on this write up, the Tri Dog event was well attended by the NATBs and thoroughly enjoyed.
Set in Bedford using the facilities of Box End the setting was beautiful. The NATBs entered 2 teams into the Triathlon and we also have Cliff entered into the men’s Duathlon. Julie was supposed to be joining us as well for the women duathlon but was struck down by a bug so was very sad to be unable to attend, she was truly missed.
Our teams were:
Team Dog Biscuit
Matt & Frank – Swim
Sally & Vinnie – Bike
Cliffy & Bailey – Run
Team Liver Cake
Emma & Mya – Swim
Hannah & Oki – Bike
Helene & Rowan – Run
Upon arrival we literally set up and all got an early evening ready for the following days event as we arrived at different times, some of us in the dark.
Saturday morning broke with good weather and exciting, good natured ribbing amongst the teams was the name of the game and each team was positive. We registered and were given our teams numbers, swim cap (oh dear!) and bib, timings were advised and any relevant information shared. Individual competitors were also given a race bag for transition equipment.
Our bikes and runners set off to the transition areas the swimmers lined up ready to start after the full individual Triathlon competitors had all gone.
With 6 teams in total we all wanted to podium for the kudos but the main point was to have fun as many of us had never taken part in an event like this before!
Matt started with Frank and they put in an excellent swim, catching time up on the competitor in front, shortening their 1 minute gap. He passed the “baton” (a tap on the shoulder) to Sally and she was off.
In the meantime Emma and Mya entered the water, now even with a wet suit the cold shock was unexpected, the lake was also deeper than expected which promptly set Emma off into an asthma attack. This did not go well; Mya was slightly annoyed with Emma when she needed to exit the water early incurring a time penalty. Wheezing like a poorly oiled 90 year old Emma managed to stagger to the transition area and tag Hannah; she set off like a bat out of hell and miraculously caught Sally at the run transition point just as she tagged Cliffy.
The race was on! Both runners gave their all and the finish was exciting to watch. Cliffy finished just ahead of Helene who had been foxed by the arrows for the other course and lost a few seconds almost following it.
Times for day 1 were:
Spring Loaded: 19:50
Dog Biscuit 24:53
Liver Cake 22:42 - + 5min time penalty. Total 27:42
The girls had something to prove. Emma’s guilt was huge and she decided that practise swims were required to prepare for the next day. Offers to swap positions were made BUT this became a personal demon!
Cliffy took part in the duathlon and with the rest of the NATBs cheering him on he finished in 1st place by just 9 seconds with a time of 19:47! The man is a machine, and Stanley did good!
Saturday afternoon and evening were spent eating cake, drinking tea and other stuff (!) and catching up! Matt was the resident cook for the weekend and provided some awesome food for dinner and breakfast on both days – huge thanks Matt!
Sunday morning started with Emma going for practice swims in the lake – 4 swims were managed without melt downs so feeling positive and boosted with team talks the teams moved off to their various positions ready for battle!
Seeded on Sunday the teams went off in order, knowing we couldn’t catch the scarily fast Spring Loaded we concentrated in trying to stay in 2nd and 3rd, the order to be fought over!
Matt again put in a strong swim, we decided his new nickname was Matt the Mackerel, Frank once again being the perfect swim companion staying on Matts shoulder/behind him the whole way, not putting a paw wrong.
A minute later Emma and Mya entered the water, singing away to herself and telling Mya how good she was being Emma blasted the swim and completed it with a massive grin and wiggle from Mya, managing to even run to the transition this time and tag Hannah not far behind Matt. With a tactical dog swap of Bailey to bike and Vinnie to run, Dog Biscuit were hoping for a faster time to foil Liver Cake from catching them.
Hannah and Oki stormed the bike, once again making up time and closing the gap. Again the race was on, but Rowan wasn’t feeling it for Helene. Cliffy managed to pull away from Helene and finished strongly but Rowan put on a spurt at the end and did pull some time back. With much congratulations and laughter we were all hugely proud of ourselves.
With no idea what our times were we concentrated on cheering Cliffy on, as he had to go straight back to compete in the Duathlon.
Unfortunately Stanley was in elevator music mode and basically gave Cliffy no help, until the last 50 metres, so he was beaten to the post by the other entrant, putting him in 2nd place overall.
We were all gutted for him but also incredible impressed by the fitness and effort! Stanley we need to work on your elevator music mode!
The presentation occurred promptly at 2pm starting with thanks to all those who helped organise the event and then followed by spot prizes. The NATBs were honoured when Matt won best swim (we repeat Matt the Mackerel) and Emma won one for Most Improved Swim (very touched).
The top 3 of each event were all then presented with prizes and medals, the team event results staying the same as the 1st days standings but with combined times as follows:
Spring Loaded: 2nd day time, 19:03 – Total; 38:53
Dog Biscuit: 2nd day time, 24:05 – Total; 48:58
Liver Cake: 2nd day time, 23:34 – Total; 51:16
As a final flourish we once again we had 3 NATB winner rosettes to share out to the winning team, however Sally and Cliff decided that Emma should have one for beating the fear of open water swimming, which was truly lovely.
All in all this was a well-run, fun event, one that we will certainly be returning too, hopefully with 3 teams next time as well as other individual entrants!
The NATBs will be keeping you up to date on their members, their dogs and events for the 2015/2016 Season. Hope you enjoy!