I signed Kris and I up for the Bull Canyon Run on a Tuesday. The next day we found out Kris would need surgery and wouldn’t be able to run.
Our dog Heather goes on most of our marathon training runs with us. She has been since our first marathon season. While there are a few dog friendly races, I’ve never been to a race where the dogs got to wear official numbers.
The Bull Canyon Run is a dog-friendly race. That gave me an idea. I e-mailed the race director, explained the situation, and asked if Heather could run on behalf of her dad using his numbers. I added the two cutest pictures I had of Heather running. Since she smiles as she runs I thought the pictures would help.
It worked! The director not only transferred Kris’ bib number under Heather’s name, but they gave her a timing chip as well. They put her in the 5 - 9 year old female division and she was good to go!
We checked in the day of the race, we pinned our numbers on and took our place in the starting corral and waited for the start gun.
The starting corral is always cramped. But Heather didn’t mind a bit! She looked around and greeted the other dogs waiting to start (without numbers, the poor schmucks). There was a beautiful husky that Heather met. We could tell she was going to beat us by a mile! (She beat us by about two miles actually).
Then the gun went off and so did we!
Pretty quickly people noticed Heather had numbers on. People kept saying, “Oh how cute! He has numbers!” She also got called “Puppy” a lot. :)
I made sure to stop at each water stop to let Heather drink. And as the sun got hotter, I made two additional stops to see if she needed to drink again. We have a special water bottle for her. It’s metal with a special nozzle with a ball inside. It’s like the hamster waterers where the can lick the tip which moves the ball up the nozzle to let the water drip out in a way they can easily lap up.
It works so much better than a regular water bottle which almost always ends with Heather getting water up (or down) her nose. But there is a draw back. The metal ball bounces in the metal nozzle as you run. Clink clink clink clink clink! For 6.2 miles. Ugh! So annoying. I was thankful I wasn’t on a marathon route. Otherwise, I’d be sure to stab someone in the eye with a rolled up gel packet around mile 19.
On our way back from the turn around we saw a group of ladies and when they saw Heather they started yelling, "Good job Doggy! Keep it up Doggy!! Go Doggy! Oh! And go Doggy's Mom too!" LOL! That cracked me up!
As usual, we can up the finishing shute alone with only the walkers behind us. (Actually, a few of the walkers finished before us). As we approached the finish the crowd started to cheer us in. I heard a lot of people cheering for “Doggy”.
“Come on Doggy! Come on Doggy!” It was great!
|Heather Wearing Her Medal & Numbers|
I came across the finishing mats two seconds before Heather. She let me come in first. She’s polite like that. Then we were directed to the finishing tents where we got our medals.
Heather won first in her division by the way. Good Dog!