So last weekend was the first race weekend of the season. Its been hot and we weren’t really feeling ready for it as the dogs haven’t been in harness much due to the weather. So we weren’t sure what to expect from the weekend, part of us was just hoping the dogs would be okay to race, especially Dill as he doesn’t do very well in the heat.
We arrived Friday evening and got set up, ended up having dinner very late as Paul went to save someone’s bike so they could race Saturday morning. We were very much ready for bed though and slept well! Due to the high temperatures and high humidity they had brought racing forward and so racing started at 7am! So the alarm was set for 5.30, we turned it off and basically fell back to sleep. We did manage to get up though and Paul went to ride the part of the course that had changed from last time we were here. I got the dogs ready, harnessed and everything else. I was then collared and asked if I could go take photos as the official photographer had been called to work and couldn’t come. This also coincided with Paul getting back with a flat tyre! Cue quick inner tube change, no photos being taken and me trying to help Paul and Dill get ready and to the start line on time.
Not the best start!
We got there on time and Paul went out after Jason, it was roughly seeded so there was no over taking for them. When Paul got back he wasn’t feeling too great about the race, Dill had dived into the water and by doing so pulled the bike from under Paul and the chain came off. So they lost some valuable time but such is life. They completed the course in 12:44 minutes and came 3rd for the day by 10 seconds.
Dill was also sick after the race, so we kept an eye on him. It was quite warm but he did have a good dip in the lake but it obviously was a little much for him. He was fine in himself though so he may have just worked a little too hard. He quite happily ate all his breakfast when it was fed to him a couple of hours after his race so we decided he was fine.
Next up was Lily! Paul wanted to do some canicrossing this year as well as biking and so Lily was entered into the canicross. Its a class where she can pull if she wants but Paul can also run 5k on his own so if she doesn’t it isn’t really an issue. She ran well, she was a little weary of running past a few dogs but Lily has always been a little cautious if she isn’t sure of a dog. She did run well though and listened to Paul really well. They completed the course in 21:49 which is a new PB for Paul and Lily running together so Paul was really happy with that!
Paul was still feeling a bit flat about the biking and due to a wasp sting on my foot which meant it was really swollen, we had a pretty lazy afternoon. I spent it with my foot up with ice on it editing photos (love having a generator!) and Paul was doing Paul things.
In the evening we had booked on to the Aqua Park, which is basically a lot of inflatables on water. It was really good fun and completely exhausting. I didn’t stay on them for the whole half hour because in all honesty, I was exhausted! I was sure an hour was up when I got out so to see we had only been in just over half hour was surprising! Really impressed with the fitness of those that managed to stay on for the whole hour. Paul was looking after a friends child so spent the whole time following her around, so he really was exhausted by the end of that.
I would love to say we slept really well that night but it was so hot! I didn’t sleep well at all and the dogs were quite restless too.
Another early start but the courses had also been shortened due to the heat. I had to get out to take photos of all the wheels competitors but Paul put the long line on Dill and did some short water retrieves with him to soak him before the run. He then got him to the start line, dunked him again and poured a bottle of water over him before starting the race. It seemed to do the trick! He ran the race which Paul measured on his watch as around 4k. The best bit though is that the spot where Dill has always stopped to have a dip in the lake, he ran straight past it! Paul did cycle as far up the bank as possible to deter him and it worked and they managed to get round in 9:43 minutes which put them in 2nd place for the day.
Then it was Lily’s turn!
She ran really well, she got over taken okay and she was quite happy to do the sprint finish which meant Paul managed to get past the person in front. Said person wasn’t very happy and thought that by overtaking Paul earlier he had given Paul an advantage at the end. The thing is… Lily doesn’t suddenly pull after people when they go past. This is one reason we only do canicross for fun if and when Lily is enjoying it. Dill loves to run in harness regardless, he will just run and run and he hates people over taking him but Lily is very different and because how weary she is of dogs she won’t get an extra pull when people go past unless its someone she knows. So really the guy going past made no difference what so ever and Paul was slightly perplexed as to why he seemed so annoyed about the fact. Anyway Lily and Paul did the 4k in 17:17 minutes which he was also very happy with.
Then came prize giving!
It seems the stop at the lake, pulling a chain off the bike was quite costly for them. However it was also really nice to have some competition and though Paul isn’t in shape and needs to do some fitness work. Having someone else to really compete with helps give him the motivation to get out and train.
So he was very happy with his 3rd place. For the conditions and their fitness it was a great placing!
It has given Paul a kick up the backside as well as he has already been out training again. This morning he got up early and spent some time on the turbo trainer before heading to work. Competition is the best motivation!
Paul and Lily came 4th, which was no surprise. They were not racing to be competitive and we are contemplating entering Lily into some short canicross courses as well, just to try and help her enjoy it more. Though our next race Lily will be biking and Dill canicrossing so that will be interesting! That isn’t until the end of October though.
Oh and this picture below has been shared by CSJ on instagram! Dill likes to do his bit for advertising!