So we have done a lot of races now, Paul loves to run with Dill and bike with Dill but due to many of the race rules you can’t canicross and bikejor at one event. So when Tri Dog started up he was instantly interested! Last summer Paul took part in his first triathlon, which was without a dog – though I think at times he really wished he had Dill with him to help him along! He didn’t do too badly though and got his target time, which was impressive as in typical Paul style he didn’t train as much as maybe he should have! In fact out of the three disciplines, running is his least favourite.
So Tri Dog started last year (2016) and they ran a training camp for novices, so for people who had maybe done one of the three disciplines but not all of them. Now we did think about going but Paul and Dill are far from novices with canicrossing and bikejoring however they hadn’t swam together! Now as it happened Dill in his duck frenzy he managed to have last year meant that Paul and Dill have now swam together. In fact it surprised Paul how fast Dill could swim when Paul tried to fish him out a lake! Oh the joy of a munsterlander!
Anyway, the first Tri Dog event was this last weekend and it was a duathlon. It involved starting on the bike, then going into transition and finishing off with a canicross.
We didn’t have the best start to the weekend as the winds were so bad at home that we couldn’t leave here till gone 7pm Friday evening and it was a 4 hour drive to the race venue. Luckily one of the best things about the caravan is that we made the bed up before we left so when we arrived, we literally dumped the caravan and got in and went to bed!
It was freezing cold!
So when we woke up, we did not want to get out of bed! We did eventually though to a frozen ground, which was better then a frozen field covered in snow! Though that would have been fun too!
Racing started at 9am, I was marshaling at the transition point, which was awesome as it meant I got to see quite a lot of the racing and it was interesting to see those who were really racing and got through transition quickly and those who were just really enjoying themselves with their dogs!
Paul said Dill was a little over excited on the start line so might need to do some more start line wait practice before Thetford. He had been doing so well but he loves running so it isn’t a surprise that it is showing signs of weakening. We just need to keep working on it!
Paul didn’t have a chance to preride the course at all due to the time we arrived and so he did ride a little carefully on the Saturday.
Dill ran really well, they all went off with two minute intervals so that we wouldn’t have lots of people in transition all at once. As it worked out we only had about 4 in at one time and one was leaving as one came in.
We were impressed with Dill during transition. As they reached a line Paul had to get off the bike and cross the line whilst walking. he then had to take Dill to the stake out line, attach him to the stake out line, then he could sort his bike/running stuff out. Then he would collect Dill and walk to the end where he was then allowed to start canicrossing till the end of the race. Paul got told off on the Saturday for running too early! tut tut!
He didn’t have the best run on Saturday because the ground was so hard it really hurt his ankles. In fact he had originally planned to also take Lily round during the second race but his ankles were hurting too much. Lily didn’t mind though she would much rather stay in doors where it’s nice and warm!
Dinner was great, that evening the organisers took orders and went to a fish and chip shop for everyone. It was super yummy and really appreciated!
That night we slept like logs! We were exhausted!
However it also rained all night long!
This made the course very interesting! It was very muddy and in some places really slippy as well! So of course when the risk of falling off is higher, it meant Paul loved it! They were faster on the bike, flew through the slippy bits. It’s clear that Paul is getting more and more confident on the bike! Dill listened really well and actually slowed down when asked, which was useful because Paul couldn’t brake as the ground was too slick!
The two motored round on the bike, they powered up the big hill at the back as if it was nothing and in no time were on their way back down again. There were only one minute intervals on the Sunday due to it being seeded and the fact that transition wasn’t as bad as it could have been on Saturday. It gave them someone to chase and Paul loved it. He loved the hills most – weird I know!
They got through transition really quickly and were soon off canicrossing. Paul said the run was much better on the Sunday, the mud meant that the ground had softened up a lot. It meant that he was a fair bit faster the second day even though conditions were so much worse! I don’t know how many people prefer hills and super muddy slippy conditions but Paul and Dill clearly do!
It appeared that everyone really enjoyed the event! Paul was buzzing, he loved it. He had so much fun and can’t wait for the full Triathlon in April. We know Dill can swim and Paul does like swimming so should be fun!
We managed to get the caravan packed and have lunch before prize giving. There weren’t many competitors, we imagine that was just because it is a very new concept in the UK and a lot of people didn’t know what to expect. It was however an incredibly friendly, really welcoming, fun event! We really hope that more will enter the triathlon, just for the Tri Dog team and we really hope that there are more duathlons in the future as well! This one was a huge success for sure! So much of a success Paul is now thinking of doing some dogless!
Over the weekend Paul and Dill came 2nd, though I don’t think Paul cared much about his placing, he just wanted to do it again!
Roll on the next one!