Glasgow Big Fun Run 2010

The Big Fun Run is one of the growing number of short (5K) races that allow dogs to run alongside their owners. Beanie took part in the first one in Bellahouston Park in 2008 running for Beagle Welfare, but today she and Biggles were just in it for fun. We’d missed last year’s race, and we were impressed at how the event had grown in the interim: more runners, more entertainment, and more costumes!

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Real Radio is one of the high profile partners for the race, and their mascot is a Basset called Barry. As luck would have it he turned up to cheer all the runners on, but he was considerably larger in the flesh than he appears in the station’s adverts, and he spent a suspiciously long time walking on two legs. As Beanie & Biggles were the only Beagles in this year’s race I figured that their fellow hound might come over for a chat, and sure enough he did. I don’t think his approach complied with accepted pack protocol however, because he immediately found himself on the receiving end of a severe, and I mean severe, woofing. His reaction showed no remorse whatsoever – he didn’t seem to take the woofing seriously at all, but that’s Bassets for you!

Ten minutes before the race was due to start an official warmup was held featuring a fitness instructor and a couple of Glasgow’s premier cheerleaders . Generally speaking we’re not much into organized warmups, but Beanie seemed willing to give it a go.

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The start of the race was very noisy, but Beanie & Biggles weren’t phased by it and got off to a good start. As usual I was partnered by the Bigglet while Beanie was Susan’s running partner. A lot of runners fell to walking pace by the end of the first kilometer so we had a lot of overtaking to do. In previous road races this was hard work because I had to guide Biggles through all the gaps, but today he knew exactly what to do and expertly weaved his way past all the walkers with hardly any direction from me. The course had a lot of twists and turns but he took every corner correctly and without guidance. When a couple of uncontrolled mutts strayed onto the course and ran up to him, he stayed resolutely focused on his task and ran straight past them without even a backward glance. I’ve said that Biggles is a great jogging companion before, but today his performance was truly flawless. I really felt we were running as a team, and we set a good pace for the first 3km or so.

As we entered the closing stages of the race, I started flagging quite badly. It was a typical Glasgow “summer” day – overcast, unpleasantly warm and very humid (though not actually raining , so I guess not truly “typical”) and I just didn’t seem to have any energy left. Fortunately Biggles’ enthusiasm didn’t falter once and I kept trudging on so as not to let my boy down. When we crossed the finish line he rightly got a lot of attention from the master of ceremonies and the crowd. I’m not sure, but I think he was the first dog to finish! Beanie also ran a great race, sometimes running ahead of Susan to encourage her onward, and sometimes jogging smartly to heel in the hope of getting another piece of kibble.

Here’s a bit of video from the day.You’ll see the aforementioned severe woofing directed at Barry the Basset, the exciting start of the race, Susan & Beanie’s finish, and the post-race refreshment and goody-bag rummage.

Despite a thorough inspection by Beagle Customs the goody bags were found to be completely devoid of any edibles. Our two did get rather nice medals for completing the race though!

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Afterwards we headed to Pets At Home in Renfrew and treated them both to posh new collars. This wasn’t purely an indulgence; yesterday Biggles somehow broke part of the metal buckle on his collar, and earlier in the week he managed to chomp through a couple of leads. Nothing seems to last long with Beagles!

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