Hylands Series #3 – Doing it Doggy Style

Hylands Series #3 21 February 2015

Love the night before a race my phone is pinging non-stop.  The new canicrossers to the group asking questions.  Can I borrow kit?  What time are you arriving?  Can I borrow a top?  What time does it start?  Are you going A12? Seriously love it, get such a        buzz and feed off the energy.  But I think I got too much mojo…arriving at the venue early!   Then I think, maybe it’s a mirage….nope it is Flyer/Tailrunner Josanne Ell and her dog Daisy…she isn’t late?  I am not late? IMG_0990 What is going on?!?  So we arrive, pre race pee (us and dogs) and I start getting the newbies sorted out with kit and tops.  This is a new for me and puts me out of my racing phase.  I walk back to the car several times with things forgotten.  Forgotten the dog water for the finish.  Forgotten to take my coat off.  Luckily this time I hadn’t forgotten my dog!

 

Also take the opportunity to liaise with other groups, their leaders and take advice.  Argh I had forgotten to sign up!  Everyone signed i?  I haven’t argh!  Hmm what distance?  5k or 10K I decide whilst walking to the tent.  The last piece of advice from experienced runner EETC/Tailrunner Rebecca Gill ‘’it is muddy out there’’ and so sign up for the 5k.  Flyer Keith Passingham words come echoing in my head ‘take it easy coming back from injury.’  I turn to Josanne ‘’I signed up for the 5k…it is muddy out there’’ and like a veteran she smiles ‘’so?’’ I feel proud and shamed all at same time!

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Prior to the race I managed to get ‘’Charlied’’ and in cuddles with Rebecca’s spaniel received sloppy kisses and a muddy nose then ‘’Bahjid’’ and got a muddy everything from Flyer/RRC/Tailrunner Lisa Bolton’s friendly Lab.  Made me laugh.  Neither owner needn’t have worried it was a precursor to the main event.  So we hot stepped off to a warm up well when I say hot stepped I am being ironic. Anyone with Raynauds will tell you how painful that is and I didn’t get feeling in my toes till an hour after we got back home!  But being a responsible canicrosser took my dog for a warm up then hopped up and down waiting for the main event.

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In true canicross style it was *organised chaos.  Lots of barking and howling dogs.  Knowing how this upsets my pupster we stayed away from the start funnel as best we could to reassure him.  I hear the race organiser shout through a megaphone.  The dogs however could sense the race was about to start as the barking was relentless.  I nervously looked over my shoulder as I wanted to get further to the back but was transfixed by two Jack Russells – yes Jack Russells at 7kg a piece I wasn’t going anywhere but forwards ‘’3-2-1’’ no Ted Rogers we were off!!!!!!!!!

We skated rather than ran.  The mud was unrelenting.  Soon the speedsters got the better of us as I puffed and Diesel pulled our way to the first bend.  We were running at right angles to each other Diesel more intent on finding more solid ground, whilst I was trying to stay upright and on the correct course as laid out by markers and marshals.  I saw Rebecca stop up ahead.  Charlie was waiting for his buddy Diesel?  Rebecca and I managed to swerve our way forwards and managed to catch up with Josanne and Daisy who were running their first 5k loop.  ‘’Amanda this is harder than B15’’ I was almost relieved – almost we still had to get round it. Charlie kept stopping for Diesel and Diesel kept trying to travel the route with least resistance, he is clever like that my little spaniel but unfortunately we were in a race and had to stick to the course. WP_20150221_004

Up ahead I could see an orange glow as the rest of the Tailrunners were storming ahead.  In true fashion the familiar glow of your team mates leading the way pulls you along with them.   The terrain had now turned another bend onto a path – great!  Actually, not so great in mud claws and it juddered through my hips and again fought a battle trying to steer my dog back onto the mud and off the path.  This run was really relentless.

‘’Come on we halfway’’ Josanne breezes and we were, except I have a water loving dog and this time the route had taken us with spitting distance of the lake.  He is fed up of being caked in mud and feels like a quick dip.  ‘Run on’ (sorry mate) with the pressure of keeping up so Charlie would stick with Diesel and Diesel with Daisy we battle onwards and upwards – literally.  The finish is through a wood and up a hill. IMG_0788

Now we put the pedal to the metal and I managed to exhale rather than speak to Jo ‘’good luck with the rest of your race’’ I pant and start to tear up after Rebecca.  This maybe the only time I beat one of our areas fastest due to Charlies love of Diesel (or running in a pack) having slowed them down I was going for it.  To the end we charged.  What a welcome site, my husband and our newly formed but ever growing club.

 

IMG_0762BRC/Tailrunner  Richard Jones and Vinnie had taken first male and Tailrunner Jenny Knight and Lucy first female.  To be honest team Orange ad filled up most of the top 10.  It really isn’t all about position it is about teamwork tho and everyone that came in did it to a heroes welcome.  I particularly enjoy  seeing a runners face light up as they realise you are cheering them on and to see a spurt of energy rise from nothing but grit and determination. 11015954_10205623315799230_3567290914705687968_n (2)

Special mention to first timer CPJ/Tailrunner Mel Brady with Kaiser who achieved a stonking sub 21.00 PB on a wet and muddy course is epic! Pauline Jones with Flic who shaved a whooping 5minutes of their time. First timers Steph Ager and Cooper who ran like pro’s (and she was nervous) and lovely first timer Pauline Bowers with Ruby who despite her Labrador’s best efforts to bounce up and down managed to get round the course (getting lost once). Gotta be said this group is testament to parkrun/Flyers for getting people into running and where some of our first timers and some veterans (such as like Luke with his huskies) met.

We waited for the 10kers and I will admit got a little worried.  I know these guys are fast and competitive.  Whether it was the cold but time seemed to stand still a few people left (it was bitterly cold we had hailstorm that day too) and then I saw the grin of Josanne and the grimace of EETC Rob Kleider and his effervescent dog Molly.  WP_20150221_027Yes he had finally beaten his nemesis.  My favourite moment of the race ‘’what was I thinking?’’ (the pre watershed version) exasperated Josanne shouts across the line.  I look at her and I look at her dog Daisy who is as fresh-as-daisy .  Hugs and smiles and goody bags (liquorice and peppermint tea – how knew this was a great combo?) tennis ball and beef stick for Diesel, green tea, natural sweets and extra tuggy toy for the winners  and we all filtered off.  This time I remembered the coffee and bacon and socialised a bit longer and met more dog walkers with relentless canicross questions.

I wondered what my legs were attached to as my feet had now left me completely and graciously answered as many questions as I could, always keen to promote a healthy lifteysle and fitness with your favourite buddy whilst my favourite buddy stole the remains of my bacon sandwich!  Alls well that ends well.  My kit has been washed once and my dog was washed twice.  All the racers were accounted for and had enjoyed themselves.  Which is testament to them as it was a tough course.  Within an hour of being home normal service has resumed in my feet and Diesel had destroyed his tennis ball and was looking for the next game. 10989147_10205623311479122_862502439352226032_n (2)

The final race in the series is March 21st (my birthday lucky me).

*All results and photos were on-line before we even made it home.

 

 

 

Useful links

www.k9x.co.uk

https://www.flickr.com/photos/theraceorganiser/sets/72157650544053848/

www.tailrunners.co.uk

Canicross – Colchester Canisports Club (facebook)

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