It’s been a while, in fact it’s been a really long time! So due to that we will give you a quick run down on all the races we have done since we wrote last!
So the first one was the Canicross Midlands race at Cliff Lakes. It was a new venue and a fun one. Unfortunately we were having to be careful with Dill as he had hurt his paw at Checkendon and we had the euros coming up! They came 2nd over the weekend and this is one of their runs for that weekend.
We tried Dill in a different harness for the weekend and though it looked good on him it unfortuantly restricted his front leg movement so he went back to his non-stop for the euros.
So two weeks after Cliff lakes, we had the euros at Thetford. We know that in the grand scheme of things Paul and Dill are very small fish! They are an awesome team but the teams that came over from Europe weren’t just super fast – some of the dogs were huge! Seriously I don’t think I was ready for just how big they were even though we had been told previously what to expect.
Racing was awesome, one of the videos (Fridays) shows how Paul and Dill were over taken so fast that Dill seemed somewhat confused and dropped back from running out front! They did amazingly well though, out of a large entry for the male bikejor elite they managed to finish the weekend in the top 20! There were only two from GB in the top 20 which makes it even more special!
It is hard to explain what it was like at the euros but the atmosphere, the racing, it was amazing! We have never come across anything quite like it and it was nice to spend time with friends, get to know new people and just have a really awesome time.
These are their runs from the two days:
Our next race was two weeks later at Sherwood Pines. This was the first race that we tried a new way of starting. Paul had been working really hard on getting Dill to line out so that he doesn’t need to be held at the start line. This means we can hold the bike to give them both a better start as Paul can be clipped in rather than have to worry about clipping in once they are going. It saves a few seconds but most of all it stops Dill getting flung back when he hits the end of the line which is much better for him!
They came 3rd over the weekend to two greysters that are just about coming to age, the sleddog rallys let some dogs under 18 months bikejor so a few were using it for training. Dill still managed to also beat at least one! It’s hard work for him to compete against the speed of the purpose bred dogs but Dill is doing amazingly well!
The next race was at Thetford for new year! It was the same course that they ran at the euros and Paul was excited about racing on the same course again. He annoyed himself slightly as they were slower on both days then at the euros, but the conditions were different, so these things happen! It was the first race that they have ever had to overtake rigs but Dill passed them cleanly and Paul was quite impressed!
They came 3rd to two greysters again at this race but regardless of that Paul and Dill are growing so much as a team right now, they are getting faster with every race and Dill never ceases to surprise us!
This weekend was the 3rd and 4th race of the British Championships at Newborough Forest. This is the first of any of the British champs that we have ever been able to get to and so the first one they have ever competed at.
It was not an easy course, in fact the sand on the hills made it very tricky and it was really hard work for the dogs. A lot of people, Paul included found the dogs were working so hard pulling the bikes through the sand that by the time they were off the sand they were completely exhausted! This meant that the second day Paul went and rode the sand section a couple of times to try and get used to it and the feel of his bike doing it’s own thing underneath him. It was different to a lot of courses they had ran before and Dill worked his paws off, he put his heart into it completely! Unfortunately we only have the video from Sunday as there was a camera malfunction on the start line Saturday so it didn’t record. Paul wasn’t happy after the first run on Saturday, he felt Dill had worked much harder then he had and he really wasn’t happy about that! So he went out and ran Lily (they came last both days but it was only a fun run for Lily and she even had a swim during her run on Sunday!) to a really good time, but I think that was partly out of frustration! The second day he felt like he had worked as hard as Dill and they managed to make up about 20 seconds on their time from the first day. They were amazing and as a team are growing so much together! Makes me so proud!
So at the end of this weekend Paul and Dill came away with a bronze medal in the male bikejor elite class. They are going to try and get some more training in before the next championship races next month and see if they can push themselves some more, then maybe next year we will hopefully get to all the championship races!
We both really enjoyed the weekend, as did the dogs! Anglesey is a beautiful place and it was great to be able to go down the beach after the racing and have some fun!
Our next race is this coming weekend and its the first duathlon in the UK for both humans and dogs! Paul is entered with Dill and we shall see how the pair do with that. Should be really good fun either way!