Canicross Midlands had their first event of the season on 24/25th September which saw a few of the NATBs attend.
We have done something different for this blog and have got 2 self written “diaries” from 2 members who attended – enjoy!
Helene Pettit –
The course was different to last year to avoid the long finish next to the lake; only half the lake this time. Good course with a couple of small hills but mainly flat with some rough terrain, lovely chunks of course by the lake for dogs to dip into or in the case of Emily Thomas, to go in herself!! I narrowly avoided being in myself purely by a blade of grass! Isobel was off to a cracking start on day 1 I didn't see her start day 2 but a great finish both days and a good time as well which I think surprised her! Emily I didn't see as she was running after me but she had a great finish both days, lighting up the finish in her cherry leggings J I had a great run day one despite being nervous on the downs after my fall there last year and on day two I was hoping last year's didn't doom this year's; the good news is it didn't and I was off to a literally flying start, plus scream, I'm sure courtesy of the nonstop belt I borrowed off Emily. Lovely venue, gorgeous weather; day 2 course shortened due to humidity, brilliantly organised by the canicross midlands crew.
I reached Box End at about 6 ish after a bl**dy sh*t journey, M6 and M1 pretty much crawling pace the whole way. I tried to walk the course before it got dark, just made it. Flo was really scared, with the water sport stuff going on. She calmed down on the walk.
Made myself a massive dinner once set up, in the hope it would see me through to the race.
This race, my first of season, and the earliest I've entered a race after lazy summer. Because of the heat the races were set early. I'm not good at early. But managed to crawl out of bed to feed Sam and Flo at five-ish a small meal.
Got myself up at 7ish, for the hundred pees for me, between taking the dogs for their pee's and poo's, and my ablutions. Warming them up, more last minute wee for me. Flo still not very happy, until I got her running harness out, and with that wrigglebum appeared. Sam thought we had to run everywhere, so we were dragged to the start. Our running order was just behind Helene. Off she went at her usual sh*t off a shovel pace. 20 secs later our turn, bl**dy hell dogs steady on! We gained on Helene, not for long of course, I had to slow down to shove my lungs in. We were overtaken fairly early, but that gave us a boost, however, I do get disheartened when peeps disappear into the distance.
And then we met the first hill, not really a hill but still hill enough for me. I think we made it, down through the narrow path out in to the open only to meet a loose dog, lucky for me Sam is so nice and Flo was scared of the people the other side of fence, but off putting none the less. Not that I need an excuse, by this time my breathing is not great and I'm dripping in sweat. Wondering if I can go on, thankfully someone needed to overtake, so we could pull over pop the lungs back in and hitch a lift. It was a hill start so not the best lift. All in all I had to stop a couple of times to let peeps by and had to walk, till I could breathe again. And down hill towards the lake was nearly a swim but someone was in at that point, so Flo thought again, until that was the next clear spot to dive in, in we went. They had a dunk and a drink, then off again, on the long straight to the finish. Managed it in 26:56.6. Having that, really pleased, with that time first of season.
Sam was amazing, steady as always. Flo missed having any muddy puddles to dive in and I had to run behind her in an effort to keep her ahead. But she did ok for her, the odd bounce towards other dogs.
Our race over, time to relax and take a walk around to warm down. Sort the hounds out for drinks, put Flo out of stresses way, Let her hide in the caravan. Leaving Flo to hide in van, Sam and I went off to watch the rest of the races. Something heart-warming about watching the novice, vets, kids, odds and bods. Perhaps it is because cheering them on seems to count more. Or its cos my serotonin levels have kicked in?
Back to van give hounds a short walk then another small meal. I had a snaky nap, before waking up to get ready to watch. Some of the peeps go to do the water fun activity. Which was worth doing, bloody funny, but you had to be there. (May give it a go sometime. If I don't feel too ancient). Cooked dinner, fed dogs, went over to BBQ with dinner, ate it, went back to get chair, chatted to Helene, got back just in time to get hot chocolate with Baileys (good girl), back to walk dogs, went to bed. Slept fairly well, but was woken by the rain in the early hours!! Fed dogs went back to sleep, woke up a little bit later, which would have been fine if I hadn't chatted so much. Still both dogs had poo's.
As the course was shortened for Sundays race we could use first part of Saturdays course to warm up, still in good time for start of race. Perhaps in too much time, 'cos by this time Sam is off the wall, Flo joined him in between being nervous. They, mostly Sam wanted to have their go 'NOW', so I had to take them out of the line. (bearing in mind, as much as Sam loves agility, he will line up so chilled as to looking like he is disinterested. But once on the start, 'keen as'). It took a lot to hold on to them at the start, our best pace was 3.29min/mile, that was the start that they launched me at, we soon over took the person in front. I'm sure they were the only peeps we over took, and they had already scootered. There dogs kicked up a fuss as we pasted, I'm not used to the passing thing, we are usually being passed!! Even though the course was shortened, it meant we met the first hill sooner. On that hill Flo stopped for a poo, then later for a wee. I had to walk long enough to pop both lungs in and breathe again. They remembered they swim stop, so we were in the lake again, this time running more of it to encourage them to keep moving. I swear it wasn't any easier even though it was a shorter distance. My thighs hurt like hell.
Over the two days. It is normally my right ham that tightens, Emily said I must have put effort in, I think I could have may be given a bit more. Second day was 3k done in 21:26.3. I still can't work out if that is better or worse than Saturday. Again really pleased with my hounds, Most of credit goes to Sam, 'good effort but could do better' goes to Me and Flo. I think we came 7th out of 9 on Saturday and 5th out 7th on Sunday. Making us 5th over all, in two dog.. Over the moon with that. This is a real mix, mind you had I'd done one dog in MF, I'd be in just about the same place over all. My first time at this venue, quite liked it. Staff at box end were brilliant. If you are a family into water sports (not kinky stuff), it is a fab place to visit..... There really ends my story!!!
I am still laughing and I have read them many times – enjoy and well done canicross Midlands on another fab event J
The NATBs will be keeping you up to date on their members, their dogs and events for the 2015/2016 Season. Hope you enjoy!