So we possibly say that Dill is amazing so much that it is probably a bit annoying. Saying that… he makes us incredibly proud. The best thing about the last few races hasn’t been the racing – though it has been really good! – it has been the number of people that have quite randomly and out of the blue complemented Dill. Some of the people that have said lovely things about our boy we don’t even know that well and we really appreciate that other people can see what a special boy he is. He knows his job and he loves it!
So New Year we went to Thetford. It has become a bit of a tradition now that over the Christmas/New Year period that we head over to Thetford for a two day race. This year it was a little different as the organisers took a year off and some others took their place. It was also really muddy. In fact arriving was very stressful as we got stuck in the mud trying to park up the caravan but we did eventually get settled. I spent the whole of the Saturday out on the course photographing and Paul biked Dill and then kept an eye on the others. Mozi was an angel, he didn’t eat any of the caravan! Success there!
The course was challenging due to the conditions but Paul really enjoyed it and well Dill loves it regardless! There wasn’t much video footage due to the mud splattering on the camera but what we did salvage can be found on our Facebook Page. They came a respectable 3rd over the weekend, which Paul was quite chuffed with! He had some tough competition and for Dill to even be able to come within 2 minutes of the two leaders is quite something. They are great guys with amazing purpose bred dogs!
We then had a really short week as we got home, had Monday to sort ourselves out and then Friday we were off to Wales, for the BSSF champs race 1! That was an interesting drive as not long after driving past the “welcome to Wales” sign our car started playing up! It went into limp mode twice and then an exhaust emissions light came on so we ended up driving very slowly to Pembrey! Figured as long as we got there then the RAC could always bring us home!
So glad we made it! What a lovely chilled weekend, even with the car stress! We arrived later than planned due to the car issues but we got set up and Paul was able to ride the course. Pembrey has some not great memories as Paul had what I believe is the worst crash he has had since bikejoring. So that was playing in the back of his mind a lot but thankfully he felt so much better after preriding the course! We then sat and had some very hot dinner – which was needed – it was freezing! Then we went and got Paul registered, picked up his chip, found he was marshaling on the Saturday and then happily went to bed!
Saturday morning we were up early to get Dill watered, it appeared that time disappeared quite quickly as we suddenly had to be at the line! Paul warms up on the bike before a race, he has to warm up for at least 15-20 minutes before a race and Dill is warmed up and toileted before he goes to the line. The BSSF had put up two start lines so that you could have more time to get ready on the line, not sure if had the effect they wanted as the dogs weren’t allowed on the start line till the other dog had gone but it did work and the start went like clockwork.
The boys had a great race as it had been semi seeded in class order so Danny went off before Paul and Paul is around a minute off Danny’s times so he had a lovely clear run. Sometimes Paul does miss having to pass people, Dill doesn’t do it on the bike very often now as most races are semi seeding their races. Saying that if you watch the video around 1:58 you will see just how good Dill has got at listening now. He was about to go the wrong way but you can clearly see him suddenly change direction as Paul called out to him. He has come a long way!
Then Saturday afternoon after all the racing we had a lovely family walk on the beach but not before Mozi managed to meet up with all but one of his siblings as well as his mum and dad! In order from left to right in the photo below: Magnus (dad), Mozi, Khaos, Mouse, Kermit, Marhsal, Gunnar, Gonzo, Hannah, Vegas and Indi (mum).
Sunday morning was much the same as Saturday but racing started earlier so we got up a little earlier, that way I could make sure Lily and Mozi had a walk as we wanted to rush off home being that it would take a while with our dodgy car, so wouldn’t get to walk them later. Then got Dill to the start line and off they went! They seeded the whole bikejor classes together so they still didn’t over take any bikes… however watch the video below for the one over take they did do!
At 10:10 you can see where they went cleanly past a 6-dog rig. It was unexpected but Paul was buzzing on the finish line because of how cleanly they passed. Sometimes there are small achievements during races and this was one of them. Who knows if he will ever need to do it again but we know he can, the guy on the rig was great, he pulled his lot right over and waved them past. Paul was very grateful and he was even buzzing about it on the way home.
They came 2nd in the Male Bikejor Elite class and came away with a silver medal.
So then we had another short week at work as we took the Monday off to recover – which we so needed! Tuesday the car broke again but at least we got home and we can get it all sorted again!
Then Saturday we went back to Thetford for Dunerunner‘s Fido’s Forest Frenzy. Paul and Dill signed up to do the 10km course which turned out to be closer to 12km! I think it was about 11.75km clocked by his garmin. The race was I guess more relaxed then some we have been to, the briefing was late so the start was late but once it all got going it was good. Dill loves a run and they came in well, though it was possibly a bit warmer than Dill would have liked! Saying that they came 3rd with a time of 48:12 with a new 10km PB of 40:25! Lily ran the short course which was around 6km with our friend Becky and her spaniel Louis and they managed to win the two-dog female short course! Lily celebrated by sleeping!
We want to say a big thank you to Emily at K9 Trail Time for sponsoring the dogs and for all her support.
Racing wise we are doing one day at the Canicross Midlands Cliff Lakes race, then we have a week or two off I think. We have started training Mozi in harness and I will at some point write a blog about how we have been training him. He isn’t another Dill and where Dill took to it we are having to train Mozi more so that he understands what his job is. He has amazing potential so we are taking it slow, we are in no rush after all there are no plans to retire Dill, so no rush to get Mozi racing!