On the 4th August the team selections for the IFSS European Championships were to be announced. We spent the day checking every now and then, knowing they weren’t likely to be posted until the evening. For Paul it was a long day! He wanted to know if they had done enough to be selected for team GB or not.
The list was published and to our horror Paul and Dill weren’t on the list, not as a selected team or reserve! It appeared all BSSF members were placed as reserves if not selected for the team and so we messaged them about it. It appears due to an admin error they didn’t realise that Paul had joined the BSSF before the race at Catton Hall. It didn’t take long for the list to be adjusted and for them to be put on it. Unfortunately it wasn’t just Paul and Dill who were missed off or placed wrong and there were a lot of people upset for either being missed off initially or for being pushed down to reserves after being selected. It was a bit of a mess but they had a difficult job selecting 4 people for each category from 3 qualifying events. We were just grateful that they accepted Paul was a member (good thing we had a membership card to prove it!) and so when the updated and revised team was published Paul and Dill had been selected to run for team GB!
After we had slept (the team stuff went on quite late and we didn’t want to go to bed until we were sure what was going on!) Paul was able to enjoy the moment. Paul has only been in the sport for two seasons and the first was only in the novice classes at the Canicross Midlands events. Dill was old enough to bike last November but he has gone from strength to strength and loves to run on the bike. As Dill showed potential, Paul worked harder to be better and fitter on the bike so together they could be faster and it really showed, especially at Catton when they were just seconds off champions in the sport. They have a long way to go and are not expecting to come away with any medals at the Europeans, they are still babies in the sport but to be given this opportunity means a lot to them. It does also mean that they have stepped up their training. Racing season starts again in September and they are really looking forward to it. This will be Dill’s first full racing season on the bike and they are looking at entering a whole range of races this year to try different courses.
For now though we will start building up the training, get both Paul and Dill back up to fitness and see what we can do to increase it. We are looking at getting Dill back into the pool and doing hydro to work on his cardio, we have a variety of tricks that help build different muscle groups to work on as well. Both dogs will also be seeing a canine massage therapist at some point during the next couple of months to see how they are doing. He will also be doing small amounts of agility to help train his body to move in slightly different ways and build up other muscle groups. We are possibly taking this too seriously but we want the best for him so that Paul and Dill can go out there in November and feel like they have given it their all regardless of the placings.